Special Use Permit Programmatic Categorical Exclusion
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, receives many requests annually for Special Use Permits for activities/events to be held within the boundaries of the park. While the issuing of permit requests is guided by the National Park Service's Director's Order #53, other laws/regulations/guidelines, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Park Service's Director Order #12 (DO#12), state that proposed permitted activities need to be individually evaluated for impacts to park resources prior to approval.
Many of the special use permit requests received indicate that the proposed activities are short-term, non-impacted events that would fall under DO#12's Categorical Exclusion #3.4 D (4) -"Issuance of permits for demonstrations, gatherings, ceremonies, concerts, arts and crafts shows, and so forth, entailing only short-term or readily remediable environmental disturbances."
In order to streamline the permit process and the compliance review process, a Programmatic Categorical Exclusion has been written that specifies the types of short-term, low impact activities that could be permitted without further compliance review and approval. A record of the proposed permit's NEPA programmatic categorical exclusion citation will be included within the issued special use permit.
Any proposed events/activities that do not meet the Programmatic Categorical Exclusion will be required to be submitted for compliance review and will be processed by the park's Interdisciplinary Team for potential impacts to park resources.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion #D.4 – Issuance of permits for demonstrations, gathering, ceremonies, concerts, arts and crafts shows, etc., entailing only short-term or readily mitigable environmental disturbance.
Upon review under the National Historic Preservation Act/Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, no historic properties will be affected. The level of impacts for the activities would pose no greater impact to cultural resources than impacts received from day-to-day visitor activity.
For further information about this project, please contact Permit Coordinator, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740