(a) Coverage and purpose. The Commission may issue a general permit, in lieu of issuing individual approvals, for a specifically described category of diversions, water withdrawals and consumptive uses that:
(1) Involve the same or substantially similar types of operations or activities;
(2) Require the same limitations or operating conditions, or both;
(3) Require the same or similar monitoring and reporting; and
(4) Will result in minimal adverse impacts consistent with §§806.21 through 806.24.
(b) Procedure for issuance.
(1) At least 30 days prior to the issuance of a general permit, the Commission shall publish notice in the Federal Register and the member jurisdiction administrative bulletins of the intent to issue a general permit.
(2) At least 30 days shall be provided for interested members of the public and Federal, State and local agencies to provide written comments on a proposed general permit.
(3) The Commission or Executive Director may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing on a proposed general permit, taking into account the level of public interest and likelihood of controversy.
(4) The issuance of a general permit adopted by the Commission will be published in the Federal Register and the member jurisdiction administrative bulletins. This notice shall set forth the effective date of the general permit.
(c) Administration of general permits. General permits may be issued, amended, suspended, revoked, reissued or terminated under this section.
(1) Any general permit issued under this section shall set forth the applicability of the permit and the conditions that apply to any diversion, withdrawal or consumptive use authorized by such general permit.
(2) The Commission may fix a term to any general permit issued.
(3) A project sponsor shall obtain permission to divert, withdraw or consumptively use water in accordance with a general permit by filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Commission, in a form and manner determined by the Commission.
(4) Approval of coverage under a general permit shall be determined by the Executive Director or by any other manner that the Commission shall establish for any general permit.
(5) The Commission may set a fee for NOIs to any general permit.
(6) A project sponsor shall provide notice for NOIs in accordance with §806.15(h) and any additional notice requirements that the Commission may adopt for any general permit.
(7) The requirements of §806.16 apply to the review of NOIs to any general permit.
(8) Upon reissuance or amendment of a general permit, all project sponsors permitted to divert, withdraw or consumptively use water in accordance with the previous general permit shall be permitted to continue to operate with the renewed or modified general permit unless otherwise notified by the Commission.
(9) Notice of receipt of NOIs shall be published on the Commission's Web site and in any other manner that the Commission shall establish for any general permit.
(d) Denial of coverage. The Executive Director will deny or revoke coverage under a general permit when one or more of the following conditions exist:
(1) The project or project sponsor does not or can no longer meet the criteria for coverage under a general permit.
(2) The diversion, withdrawal or consumptive use, individually or in combination with other similar Commission regulated activities, is causing or has the potential to cause adverse impacts to water resources or competing water users.
(3) The project does not comport with §806.21(a) or (b).
(4) The project includes other diversions, withdrawals or consumptive uses that require an individual approval and the issuance of both an individual approval and a general permit for the project would constitute an undue administrative burden on the Commission.
(5) The Executive Director determines that a project cannot be effectively regulated under a general permit and is more effectively regulated under an individual approval.
(e) Requiring an individual approval. If coverage is denied or revoked under paragraph (d) of this section, the project sponsor shall be notified in writing. The notice will include a brief statement for the reasons for the decision. If coverage under a general permit was previously granted, the notice will also include a deadline for submission of an application for an individual approval. Timely submission of a complete application will result in continuation of coverage of the applicable withdrawal, consumptive use or diversion under the general permit, until the Commission takes final action on the pending individual approval application.
(f) Action of the Commission. Action by the Executive Director denying or revoking coverage under a general permit under paragraph (d) of this section, or requiring an individual approval under paragraph (e) of this section, is not a final action of the Commission until the project sponsor submits and the Commission takes final action on an individual approval application.
[80 FR 76858, Dec. 11, 2015]