March 02, 2021

The Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide 12 Permit: Pipeline litigation and the litigation pipeline

Ann D. Navaro

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the publication in the Federal Register of a new subset of its more than four dozen Nationwide Permits (NWPs) that authorize specific types of activities under section 404 of the Clean Water Act and section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Of particular interest to certain industry sectors and stakeholders are changes to NWP 12. If the new subset of NWPs goes into effect on March 15, 2021, as intended, NWP 12 would be modified to authorize only regulated activities associated with construction of oil or natural gas pipelines. This differs from the current version of NWP 12, issued in 2017, which authorizes regulated activities associated with an array of utility lines from telecommunications lines to oil pipelines.

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