Texas (April 8, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District staff finalized
a standard operating procedure (SOP) for evaluating permit applications along
the Sabine-Neches Waterway (SNWW) yesterday.
to Kimberly Baggette, chief of the USACE Galveston District’s Regulatory
Division, the request to establish a SOP for evaluating permit applications
along the SNWW was initiated by experts from the United States Coast Guard,
Sabine-Neches Navigation District, Sabine Pilots Association, Texas Department
of Transportation and the USACE Galveston District’s resident experts. The SOP
established both a standard setback as well as hazard zones designed to ensure
that no structures or fill would encroach on the federal navigation
Staff identifies the standard setback as the distance that a
structure must be “set back” from the edge of the channel to ensure there are
no encroachments in the navigable channel to support safe transportation and
maintain sufficient clearance for dredging the channel. Hazard zones are areas
shoreward of the standard setback that are narrow where structures or fill
would have a higher probability of interfering with navigation.
“With increased development along the SNWW, it is imperative that
we develop a predictable and repeatable policy for authorizing structures along
the SNWW to maintain the compatibility of these important functions,” said Baggette.
“To do this, we established setbacks from the SNWW channel where structures
could be placed without interfering with navigation on the SNWW and identified
areas of concern where a heightened permit evaluation was necessary.”
Baggette stated that the proposed policy is not designed to
dissuade or impede construction along the SNWW and that staff won’t be issuing
letters of non-compliance to any structure constructed inside the setback that
are in compliance with an authorized permit (permitted prior to the proposed
For more information about the district’s permitting process,
visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/Regulatory.aspx. For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil.
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Release no. 16-013