- 2 November 2015 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a report examining the implementation of the 2008 regulations governing compensatory mitigation offsetting losses of jurisdictional waters and wetlands authorized by Department of the Army permits. This retrospective focuses on the administrative aspects of executing the 2008 Mitigation Rule, and it examines five years of summary data on permitted impacts, compensatory mitigation requirements, and approvals of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs. For more information click here.
- 9 October 2015 - the Sixth Circuit issued an order staying the new Clean Water Rule nationwide, pending a determination by the court on jurisdiction to review the rule. Thus, the Clean Water Rule is stayed, and the prior 1986 regulations are in effect nationwide. USACE and EPA are evaluating the order and its implications for the litigation that is currently pending in district courts. In the meantime, USACE is not implementing the Clean Water Rule, and is using the 1986 regulations and applicable guidance (those in effect prior to August 28, 2015) in making jurisdictional determinations or taking other actions based on the definition of "waters of the United States."
- 14 Sep 2015 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, announces the proposed annual update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) for 2015 in the Federal Register. In addition to commenting on the proposed updates, the public will also be provided the opportunity to comment on the proposed process for future updates to the NWPL, which includes a proposed timeline for future updates on a biennial cycle. Comments are requested to provided via the NWPL website (located under NWPL Publications/Documents, Wetland Ratings, Proposed FR NWPL 2015 Update section) by 13 November 2015. For more information click here.
- August 28, 2015 - Since publication of the rule in the Federal Register, numerous lawsuits were filed challenging the regulation, and several parties sought preliminary injunctions to delay implementation of the rule. On August 27, 2015, United States District Courts in Georgia and West Virginia agreed with the Agencies that legal challenges to the Rule could only be brought in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and therefore denied the requests for preliminary injunction. However, the District Court for North Dakota found that it had jurisdiction and granted the request of a number of States and issued a decision preliminarily enjoining the Clean Water Rule.
Under the order issued by the District Court of North Dakota, the parties that obtained the preliminary injunction are not subject to the new rule, and instead continue to be subject to the prior regulation. In light of the order, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will continue to implement the prior regulation in the following States: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. In all other States, the new Clean Water Rule is effective on August 28. Click here.
- 18 August 2015 - On January 30, 2015, the President issued Executive Order (EO) 13690: Establishing of a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input. The EO amends existing EO 11988: Floodplain Management originally issued in 1977, to include the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). Once implemented, the FFRMS will assist in reducing the risk and cost of future flood disasters by ensuring that Federal investments in and affecting floodplains are constructed to better withstand the impacts of flooding. Frequently asked questions were received regarding the intended scope of the President’s FFRMS and the anticipated impacts to the USACE Regulatory Program. The Applicability of Floodplain Management and FFRMS Executive Orders to USACE Permitting Authorities was developed to provide clarification in this regard.
- 29 January 2015 - Memorandum withdrawing the 25 Mar 2014 Interpretative Rule Regarding the Applicability of Clean Water Act Section 404(f)(l)(A). For additional information click here.
- 3 December 2014 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received a final biological opinion from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries on the USACE nationwide permits that were reissued on Feb. 13, 2012, and went into effect on March 19, 2012. The biological opinion was issued on Nov. 24, 2014, and it concludes the re-initiated programmatic consultation on the Endangered Species Act that began in July 2012 between the two agencies. To view the biological opinion click here. For more general information click here.
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.