CORPS OF ENGINEERS
August 13, 2018 Agency Notice – The purpose of the supplemental notice is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (agencies) to clarify, supplement and seek additional comment on an earlier proposal, published on July 27, 2017, to repeal the 2015 Rule Defining Waters of the United States (“2015 Rule”), which amended portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). As stated in the agencies’ July 27, 2017 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the agencies propose to repeal the 2015 Rule and restore the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule, as informed by guidance in effect at that time. If this proposal is finalized, the regulations defining the scope of federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction would be those portions of the CFR as they existed before the amendments promulgated in the 2015 Rule. Those preexisting regulatory definitions are the ones that the agencies are currently implementing in light of the agencies’ final rule published on February 6, 2018, adding a February 6, 2020 applicability date to the 2015 Rule, as well as judicial decisions preliminarily enjoining and staying the 2015 Rule. Comments accepted. 83 FR 32227, (July 12, 2018), (EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203; FRL-9980-52-OW).
August 20, 2018 Agency Notice – The St. Paul District, Army Corps of Engineers (MVP) is conducting a study regarding the disposition of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and Lock and Dam 1 located in the Upper Mississippi River, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, Minnesota. The study will include an environmental assessment and consider opportunities regarding deauthorization and disposal of any or all of the three lock and dam sites. The study will evaluate two primary alternatives: (1) No action; and, (2) deauthorization by Congress of the Federal missions at the sites and disposal according to Federal Law. Deauthorization would include portions of the Mississippi River 9-foot navigation channel and the lands and structures associated with each lock and dam site. It is anticipated that a draft report of the integrated Disposition Study and Environmental Assessment (EA) will be available for a 30-day public comment period in the Spring of 2019. The St. Paul District of the Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting public comments on the proposed study, potential interest in future ownership if disposal of the properties is warranted, and substantive issues that should be analyzed in the EA. In addition, two scoping meetings will be held. Comments accepted. 83 FR 30705, (June 29, 2018).
August 30, 2018 Agency Notice (Meeting) – The Department of Defense is publishing a notice to announce that the Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Inland Waterways Users Board will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with registration beginning at 7:15 a.m. The meeting will take place at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, 100 Kentucky Avenue, Paducah, KY. 83 FR 32102, (July 11, 2018).
September 15, 2018 The Department of the Army is publishing a notice to request nominations to serve as representatives on the Inland Waterways Users Board, sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Section 302 of Public Law 99-662 established the Inland Waterways Users Board. The Board is an independent Federal advisory committee. The Secretary of the Army appoints its 11 representative organizations. This notice is to solicit nominations for seven appointments for terms that will begin by May 28, 2019. Nominations accepted. 83 FR 36885, (July 31, 2018).
August 24, 2018 Agency Notice (File Rule) – The Department of Energy (doe) is revising its regulations to provide that DOE will issue an export authorization upon receipt of any complete application that seeks to export natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the United States has not entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries), provided that the application satisfies the following two criteria: The application proposes to export natural gas in a volume up to and including 51.75 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year (Bcf/yr)(equivalent to 0.14 Bcf per day (Bcf/d)), and DOE’s approval of the application does not require an environmental impact statement (EIS) or an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Applications that satisfy these criteria are requesting authorization for “small-scale natural gas exports,” and DOE deems such exports to be consistent with the public interest under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). DOE’s regulations regarding notice of applications and procedures conducted on applications do not apply to applications that satisfy these criteria. This regulation is intended to expedite DOE’s processing of these applications and reduce administrative burdens for the small-scale natural gas export market. 83 FR 35107, (July 25, 2018), (FE Docket No. 17-86-R).