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Corps Permits

Learn about the Corps Permit Program
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The Corps of Engineers issues either general or standard (individual) permits. The Wilmington District uses both regional general permits and nationwide permits that have regional conditions that allow their use in North Carolina.

The general permit program, both through the Nationwide Permit and the Regional General Permit program, are reserved for only the most minor impacts to streams, wetlands and other waters. However, the applicant can realize substantial savings if the project can be scoped to meet the requirements of these types of permits.

Individual permits (IPs - also known as a standard permits - SP) are generally reserved for projects with potential for substantial environmental impacts. An IP requires a full public interest review, including public notices and coordination with involved agencies, interested parties and the general public. Another type of individual permit used for very minor impacts and in special circumstances is the Letter of Permission (LOP).


Individual permits (IPs - also known as a standard permits - SP) are generally reserved for projects with potential for substantial environmental impacts. An IP requires a full public interest review, including public notices and coordination with involved agencies, interested parties and the general public. Another type of individual permit used for very minor impacts and in special circumstances is the Letter of Permission (LOP).

Within the Wilmington District, project managers will try to work with applicants to design their projects to make sure that any impacts to waters or wetlands are extremely minor, to best preserve our aquatic resources and to enable applicants to qualify for the general permit program.

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Application for Standard Department of Army (DA) Permit

Instructions for Preparing a Department of the Army Permit Application
Regional General Permits (GPs) are specific to the Wilmington District for waters and wetlands of North Carolina, and the associated conditions are established by the District. Another valuable time, money, and manpower saving aid has been the State Program General Permit (SPGP) which the District developed in cooperation with the North Carolina Coastal Area Management Act permit program. This Regional General Permit was one of the very first State Program General Permits issued in the country. The SPGP form may be obtained by contacting one of the Regulatory Field Offices.

See the current Regional General Permits used by the Wilmington District.
Nationwide Permits (NWPs) are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to authorize minor activities with minimal evaluation time. NWPs are permits used throughout the United States, and were established to reduce the regulatory reporting burden for specific activities that have no more than minimal impacts to the aquatic environment. The thresholds for the impacts and the types of activities allowed under the Nationwide Program are established as national policy. Additionally, there are regional conditions associated with each Nationwide Permit used in North Carolina by the Wilmington District. These regional conditions are established by the District and approved by the Corps Division, to ensure that the implementation of the nationwide permit program in waters and wetlands of North Carolina are consistent with meeting the program's goals of streamlining the permit process for those activities that have no more than minimal impacts to the environment.

The Corps periodically makes changes the Nationwide Permits in response to national policy to afford more protection to water resources while streamlining the permit process. The objective is to more effectively authorize activities that have only minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. The current typical re-authorization cycle is five years.

See the current Nationwide Permits and associated Regional Conditions required by the Wilmington District.