Brooke Wahlberg Comments on Impact of NWP 12 Ruling

04.27.2020
Law360

Brooke Wahlberg was prominently featured in the Law360 article, “Project Developers Pivot After Nationwide Permit Upended,” (subscription required) which provided an overview of the impact of a Montana federal judge voiding Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12). The US Army Corps of Engineers established the permit to give streamlined permission for utility line activities, which covers many infrastructure projects. Pipeline developers, electric and water utilities, and renewable energy developers are some of many that rely on the permit.

Commenting on how other nationwide permits could be used for approvals, Brooke provided a few examples, including Nationwide Permit 33 (NWP 33), which applies to "temporary construction, access and dewatering.” She added, "In a lot of cases where you're maybe doing some burying of collection lines or some sort of underground cabling, the impacts that you're actually having are temporary because you go right back and restore everything right away….so Nationwide 33 is sometimes an available option."

She also said that Nationwide Permit 14 (NWP 14), which covers "linear transportation projects" such as roads and railways “could be used if the permit is just needed for an access road or something similar.” As far as using other nationwide permits, she cautioned there is a caveat— “They may not be available based on a project's impact or because of what kind of regional conditions or state conditions may be imposed.”

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