Special Studies. The Corps is often approached to contribute Regulatory Program funds or to seek additional Federal funding in support of special studies. Districts should check with divisions first, then CECWOR before committing Regulatory Program funds.
- Easily enforceable
- Must relate to environmental protection or the public interest
- Must be justified in documentation
- Include 401/CZM conditions
Special conditions placed on a Corps permit should be limited to those necessary to comply with the Federal law, while affording the appropriate and practicable environmental protection, including offsetting aquatic impacts with compensatory mitigation (see 33 CFR 325.4—read carefully). There must be sufficient justification in the administrative record to warrant the conditions and the conditions should be easily enforced. All Corps imposed conditions should be substantially related to the impacts (e.g., Corps authorizes impacts to the aquatic environment, thus protection of uplands, except as buffers to open waters, are not appropriate unless the applicant specifically requests such conditions). Under the Corps Administrative Appeal Process (subject to final rule making), once a standard permit is issued, its terms and conditions may be appealed to the division engineer. In the appeal process, any condition that is not sufficiently justified in the administrative record is subject to removal or modification. Section 401 and CZM conditions may not be appealed through the Corps administrative appeals process.
Permit conditions should be developed so they are easily enforced, and relate to issues raised in the public interest review process (e.g., the aquatic environment, the ESA, navigation, cultural resources). Conditions to State 401 WQCs must be included as conditions of all Section 404 permits. CZM consistency conditions must also be included as conditions of Corps permits. Both 401 and CZM conditions should normally be in the form of one condition referencing the enclosed State conditions. Special conditions should not be used for the purpose of complying with State laws or local ordinances. An example of a well structured condition for a mitigation plan may require the date of the drawings, a monitoring and planting plan (with success rates), deed restrictions, and other narratives that describe the mitigation area. In many situations, more than one individual works on a project, particularly when compliance and/or enforcement are involved. Therefore, it is essential that permit conditions should