Comment Period Ends May 27: Take Action Now

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has initiated a formal review of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 a little over a year after its latest iteration took effect. NWP 12, which serves as a general permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, is designed to streamline the federal permitting process for certain pipeline activities, keeping projects on schedule and securing good jobs for industry craftsmen.

It's important that we speak up on this NOW: the fact that the Army Corps is undertaking this review four years before the current NWP 12 expires is unusual and likely indicative that the government is considering significant changes to pipeline review processes.

Sign our petition below that we will submit to the Army Corps before the public comment period ends on Friday, May 27.

Re: Docket ID No. COE–2022–0003; Nationwide Permit 12

Dear Secretary: 

As an advocate for responsible, efficient energy infrastructure development, I support the use of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 and am disappointed to see this important permit under review years before its current terms are set to expire.

The NWP program has been an essential driver of the U.S. industrial and economic system since the 1970s, allowing critical energy infrastructure projects, including gas, oil and renewable energy, to proceed after a streamlined review when environmental effects are found to be no more than minimal. 

I am primarily concerned by the fact that some of the questions posed by the Army Corps to direct stakeholder input on this process go beyond the scope of what is usually asked when reviewing NWPs. This signals a push for significant changes to NWP 12, and possibly even its ultimate revocation, which would be devastating for the oil and gas industry, its workforce and all Americans who depend on affordable and reliable energy, especially during this time of growing energy costs and economic uncertainty.  

Please consider the following key points when deciding the future of NWP 12:

  • I am concerned by some of the questions posed to guide stakeholder input on this process. For example: Question #9 “Should there be new triggers for oil or natural gas pipeline activities in jurisdictional waters that mandate review under an individual permit?” -- This seems to suggest a shift spanning the Corps’ entire regulatory program, overruling decisions by individual districts that issue general permits allowing oil and gas pipeline activities. This would ultimately lead to an uptick in individual permit applications submitted to the Corps and cause further delays in the already time-intensive individual permit process;
  • The additional delays caused by an unnecessarily lengthy permitting review processes jeopardize good jobs for the American workforce and deny critical tax revenue to communities;
  • Another question the Army Corps posed to guide input that raises particular concern is #7 “Does the NWP 12 verification process ensure that environmental justice and climate change factors are adequately considered?” --- The existing verification process already ensures that pipeline activities authorized by NWP 12 result in at most minimal effects. This particular question signals that the Corps may be considering redefining how cumulative impacts are measured, which opens a new door for regulatory backlogs;
  • There is a demonstrated need for more pipelines in the U.S. to fully harness the benefits of domestic energy, specifically to serve communities that are under-served due to a lack of pipeline capacity. It is in our nation’s best interest to support a streamlined NWP 12 program that provides the needed certainty to move projects forward in a timely manner.

The NWP 12 program has been critical in ensuring the efficient and safe development of infrastructure of all kinds – including renewable energy projects. The potential program upheaval stemming from this review could be devastating, as it threatens jobs for craftsmen across the country, impedes economic growth and hinders our nation’s ability to harness our abundant supply of domestic natural gas and oil. Thank you for allowing this opportunity to provide input.


[Names below]

1,868 signatures

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