Coastal Use Permit by Louisiana Coastal Management Division
The State of Louisiana administers a regulatory program within the jurisdiction of their coastal zone. The coastal zone boundary for Louisiana begins at the state line of Texas and Louisiana, easterly through the parishes of Calcasieu and Cameron, then south through Vermilion, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Martin, Terrebonne, and Lafourche parishes. The boundary then turns to the north to include the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. James, and east through Livingston, Tangipahoa, and St. Tammany parishes. The parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines are also within the boundary. The seaward boundary of the Coastal Zone in the outer limit of the United States territorial sea. To see a map of the coastal zone go to the Coastal Zone Map.
If your proposed project is in the Louisiana Coastal Zone, your application and drawings (8 copies) should be mailed directly to the Coastal Management Division (CMD) of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at the following address: Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Management Division, Post Office Box 44487, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-4487. Every permit application submitted to CMD must include an "AFFIDAVIT OF NOTIFICATION TO OWNER OF PROPERTY" form (Affidavit). The CMD will forward to the Corps, the application and drawings. All applications submitted to CMD must include a check made out to "Coastal Management Division, DNR." Application fees are $20 for residential projects and $100 for non-residential projects, including residential subdivisions. DNR will also assess fees for projects involving dredged or fill material and mitigation requirements. DNR will advise applicants before permit issuance of fees charged, if any. Evaluation of a DOA permit and the CMD Coastal Use Permit will be done concurrently. For further information contact Coastal Zone Management (CZM) at (225) 342-7591 or link to the Coastal Zone Management's Web Site.
If the project is located outside the boundaries of the coastal zone, the application should be sent directly to the Corps of Engineers Office at the following address: Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, Operations Division, Regulatory Branch, 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118-3651.
Under current law, the Corps cannot issue a Department of the Army permit in the coastal zone without CMD approval. Issuance of a Coastal Use Permit does not replace or guarantee approval of a DOA permit. You must comply with the Coastal Zone Management regulations in order to obtain a Coastal Use Permit.
Water Quality Certification by Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Under the provisions of the Clean Water Act, any project that involves placing dredged or fill material in waters of the United States or wetlands or mechanized clearing of wetlands needs a water quality certification from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Services, Post Office Box 4313, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. For further information call Thomas R. Griggs at (225) 219-3469 or Jamie Phillippe at (225) 219-0957 or link to the Louisiana DEQ Web Site.
If your project involves filling in waters and/or wetlands, the Corps and/or CZM will generate a joint public notice with DEQ. DEQ will provide a water quality certification application form and instructions for applying to the applicant. There is a fee of $33 for noncommercial activities and $350 for commercial activities. If issued, DEQ will send a copy of the Water Quality Certification to the Corps.
Division of State Lands
The State of Louisiana owns the beds and bottoms of many waterways. This ownership generally extends to the average low water shoreline in rivers and other streams. The ownership in most lakes, bays, sounds, and similar water bodies and in the Gulf of Mexico extends to the mean high water line. If you plan any work in state owned water bottoms, it is suggested that you contact the State Lands Office in Baton Rouge at the following address: State of Louisiana, Division of Administration, State Land Office, P.O. Box 44124, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4124. Sometimes, fees must be paid to the State of Louisiana for use of state owned water bottoms. If you remove material from state owned water bottoms for fill or sale, there is a fee payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries based on the amount of material removed. For further information call (225) 342-0120 or 342-4600.
Corps Permit Processing
The New Orleans District (NOD) will accept permit applications directly from applicants whose proposed activity is located outside the Louisiana Coastal Zone. Permit applications for proposed activities situated within the Coastal Zone must first be submitted to the Coastal Management Division (CMD) of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, who will then forward a copy of the permit application to the NOD. Upon receipt, an application is immediately assigned to a permit analyst and given a permit number. The application form and drawings are reviewed by the permit analyst to determine if the information submitted is sufficient to consider the permit application complete. If the drawings are not acceptable or additional information is needed to consider the application form complete, permit processing stops until the needed information is supplied by the applicant and/or his authorized agent.
Complete applications are evaluated to determine if the proposed activity may be authorized by a Nationwide Permit or General (Regional) Permit. These are permits in which the public and governmental agencies have previously agreed to authorization of certain well-defined, routine, noncontroversial categories of work within designated areas.
When an individual permit application is determined to be complete, a public notice containing the name and address of the applicant, location of the proposed activity, and project description is advertised for comment. Comment periods normally do not exceed 30 days. The public notice is the primary method of advising interested Federal, state and local resource and/or regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and private individuals of the proposed activity and of soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impact on the public interest.
For Section 404 activities the Corps must evaluate the proposed activity under the Environmental Protection Agency's 404(b)(1) guidelines. The applicant must demonstrate that there are no feasible/practicable less environmentally damaging alternative sites available to the applicant that would achieve the project purpose.
Prior to Department of the Army authorization, the applicant must obtain a Coastal Use Permit if the project site is located within the coastal zone, a Water Quality Certification from the Department of Environmental Quality for Section 404 activities and provide mitigation and or compensation for all unavoidable impacts to wetland resources.
After all actions have been completed, the District Engineer will determine in accordance with applicable regulations whether or not the permit should be issued. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits expected to result from the proposed action must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.
If the final decision is not to issue a permit, the applicant will be advised in writing of the reasons the proposed activity was considered contrary to the public interest.
If the final decision is to issue the permit, an original typed copy of the permit is sent to the applicant by mail. The applicant is given the opportunity to review the permit and conditions of approval. If acceptable, the applicant must sign and date the original copy and return it to the NOD along with the required noncommercial activity ($10) and/or commercial activity ($100) processing fee. After a permit has been signed by the applicant and returned with the required processing fee, an official of the NOD will sign the permit. The signed permit is then mailed to the permittee.