May 27, 2022 Coalition Comments Re: Notice of Virtual Public and Tribal Meetings Regarding the Review of Nationwide Permit 12
As emphasized in the 2017 NWPs rulemaking, “[t]he utility line activities authorized by NWP 12 will continue to be needed by society, including the goods and services transported by those utility lines.”2 This remains true in 2022 with NWP 12‐ authorized activities remaining essential to the construction, operation, and maintenance of efficient oil and gas facilities which in turn help meet the energy needs of the nation.3 NWP 12 serves as a strong motivator for the regulated industry to design projects In a way that reduces environmental impacts. The regulatory certainty provided by the orderly cycle of NWP issuance allows private companies to secure the investments that make private operation of this important public infrastructure system reliable.
To assure regulatory certainty, we urge the USACE to not reopen NWP 12 at this time, and instead allow NWP 12 to continue to be authorized and reissued as part of the current cycle of the NWPS set to expire on March 14, 2026.
We strenuously object to any “potential off‐ramps” that go beyond the statutory requirements and the underlying intent of NWPs to lessen administrative burdens. We object to any additional triggers mandating individual reviews of permits.