On April 24th the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection (WVDEP) approved its modification of the state’s 401 Certification of the Army Corps of Engineers’ 404 Nationwide Permits. In its approval, WVDEP decided against the proposed Standard Condition 22 that would have allowed it to waive or modify any standard or special condition which would have set a very bad precedent. However, WVDEP is moving forward with the modification of Nationwide Permit 12 that covers the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
The agency modified Special Condition C. to allow exemptions to the 72-hour time restriction for stream crossings. The modified version exempts dry crossing methods and Section 10 (large, navigable rivers) from the 72-hour timeframe. The river crossings must be completed as soon as practicable. Also modified was Special Condition L. to clarify that there can be no permanent structures that impede fish passage, but temporary impedances of fish passage are allowable.
These modifications will make it easier for ACP to comply with the general permit conditions. The modifications now go to Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency for approval.