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Latest News

  • 6 February 2018 - EPA and the Army Finalize Rule Adding an Applicability Date to the 2015 "waters of the United States" Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Army have finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States.” The 2015 Rule will not be applicable until 6 February 2020 (two years following publication of the applicability date rule in the Federal Register). The Federal Register notice can be found at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?granuleId=2018-02429&packageId=FR-2018-02-06&acCode=FR&collectionCode=FR.

    The Corps will continue to use the regulations and guidance in effect prior to 28 August 2015 in making jurisdictional determinations (1986 regulations and 2003/2008 guidance documents) until 6 February 2020, or until a new rule goes into effect. For more information on the rulemaking effort please see EPA's webpage at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule
  • 25 October 2017 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a report today to meet the requirements of Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” The report recommends changes to nine nationwide permits to reduce burdens on domestic energy producers. The report is available here.
  • 22 August 2017 - EPA and the Army have announced an extension to the comment period by 30 days for the proposed first step of the review of the definition of "Waters of the United States" to provide additional time for stakeholders to weigh in. The comment period, as now extended, will close on September 27, 2017. The Federal Register notice can be found at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/2017-17739.pdf. For more information on the rulemaking effort, please see https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.
  • 27 July 2017 - The proposed rule "Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’— Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules" was published in the Federal Register for a 30-day public comment period. This is the proposed rule for the first step of the effort associated with the Executive Order, signed on 28 February 2017, ‘‘Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.’’  Please click here for a copy of the Federal Register Notice. The Corps will continue to use the regulations and guidance in effect prior to 28 August 2015 in making jurisdictional determinations (1986 regulations and 2003/2008 guidance documents) until a new rule goes into effect. For more information on the rulemaking effort please see EPA's webpage at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.
  • 8 February 2017 - An exception from the regulatory freeze was granted by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for the 2017 nationwide permits, which were published in the Federal Register on Jan. 6, 2017 (82 FR 1860). The final rule for the issuance of the 2017 nationwide permits was subject to the Jan. 20, 2017, White House Chief of Staff memorandum entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted documentation on Feb. 7 to the Office of Management and Budget to ask that that the 2017 nationwide permits be excepted from the regulatory freeze. The 2017 nationwide permits will go into effect on March 19, 2017, as originally scheduled.
  • 6 January 2017 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today revised and renewed nationwide permits (NWPs) necessary for work in streams, wetlands and other waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  The new NWPs will take effect March 19, 2017, and replace the existing permits, which expire on March 18, 2017.  More information available here.
  • 31 October 2016 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today the issuance of a new Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 16-01 regarding "Jurisdictional Determinations." The RGL explains the differences between approved and preliminary jurisdictional determinations (JDs) and provides guidance to the field and the regulated public on when it may be appropriate to issue an AJD as opposed to a PJD, or when it may be appropriate to not prepare any JD whatsoever. The Corps reaffirms its commitment to continue its practice of providing JDs when requested to do so, consistent with the guidance in the RGL. The RGL is available here and a set of Questions and Answers and other supporting information can be found here.

Regulatory (Permits)

Man and woman checking soil conditions
The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the Federal Government. Initially it served a fairly simple, straightforward purpose: to protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the nation's waters. Time, changing public needs, evolving policy, case law, and new statutory mandates have changed the complexion of the program, adding to its breadth, complexity, and authority.

The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the Nation's aquatic resources and navigation capacity, while allowing reasonable development through fair and balanced decisions.  The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the Nation's waters, including wetlands.