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Archive Announcements

  • 3 August 2020 - Army Corps of Engineers announces proposal to renew and revise nationwide permits
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it has prepared its proposal to renew and revise 52 nationwide permits for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register within a few weeks. The public comment period will not begin until the proposal is published in the Federal Register. A pre-publication copy of the proposal has been posted on the USACE web site at: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/National-Notices-and-Program-Initiatives/.

  • 21 April 2020 - EPA and Army Publish the Navigable Waters Protection Rule
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register. This final rule establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. The final rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. The published version is 93 pages, and the citation is: 85 FR 22250.  The Federal Register notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/21/2020-02500/the-navigable-waters-protection-rule-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.

  • 23 January 2020 - ​EPA and Army announce new rule defining waters of the U.S. 
    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army today finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and clarifies the limits of federal control under the Clean Water Act. This rule and existing state, local, and tribal regulations and programs will provide a network of coverage for the nation’s water resources in accordance with the objective and policies of the Clean Water Act. The rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register in late February and will become effective 60-days following publication. The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the nation’s aquatic resources and navigable capacity while allowing economic development through fair and balanced decisions. More information on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule is available at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr

  • 23 December 2019 - Effective December 23, 2019 the EPA and Army will Implement the "Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules"
    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army published a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule (2015 Rule) and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" that existed prior to 2015.  The rule is available on the Federal Register.  The rule is effective on December 23, 2019.  The agencies will implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice.   More information.

  • 22 October 2019 - EPA and Army Publish Rule to Repeal 2015 "Waters of the U.S." Definition
    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have published a rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) that existed prior to 2015.  The rule is available on the Federal Register.  The rule will become effective on December 23, 2019.  On this date, the agencies will implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice.  More information.

  • 12 September 2019 - EPA and Army sign new rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule
    Today the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army signed a new rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and restore the regulatory regime that existed prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule.  Today's new rule is in keeping with President Trump’s Executive Order 13778, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”  Prior to today's rule, a patchwork of regulations existed across the country as a result of various judicial decisions enjoining the 2015 Clean Water Rule.  Today's new rule reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which many regulatory agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public are familiar with.  This new rule also provides regulatory certainty, while the agencies engage in the second step of rulemaking (Step 2 Proposed Rule) to revise the definition of "waters of the U.S."  The Step 2 Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2019, and public comments were received through April 15, 2019.  EPA and Army are currently reviewing more than 600,000 comments received before taking final action.  For more information on the "Waters of the U.S" rulemaking, please visit http://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule. For questions about a pending jurisdictional determination or permit, we ask that you contact your local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Office. Office information can be found at  http://regulatory-ops.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/.

  • 29 July 2019 - Definition of "Waters of the United States":  Rule Status and Litigation Update                                                                                               In February 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (Army) (“the agencies”) finalized a rule that would establish an applicability date of February 2020 for the  2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States.” Since then, the U.S. District Courts for the District of South Carolina and the Southern District of Washington enjoined and vacated the 2018 Applicability Date Rule. The agencies are disappointed by the district courts’ rulings, which leave a confusing patchwork of federal regulations in place across the country. Rather than continuing to litigate the Applicability Date Rule, however, the agencies have decided to focus on the rulemaking actions underway.   Pursuant to the South Carolina district court’s order, the 2015 Rule is in effect in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. The agencies recognize the uncertainty this decision has created and are committed to working closely with states and stakeholders to provide updated information on an ongoing basis regarding which rules are in place in which states. If a state, tribe, or an entity has specific questions about a pending jurisdictional determination or permit, please contact a local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District office or the EPA.

  • 18 June 2019 - Definition of "Waters of the United States":  Rule Status and Litigation Update
    In February 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (Army) (“the agencies”) finalized a rule that would establish an applicability date of February 2020 for the 2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States.” Since then, the U.S. District Courts for the District of South Carolina and the Southern District of Washington enjoined and vacated the 2018 Rule.

    The agencies are disappointed by the district courts’ rulings, which leave a confusing patchwork of federal regulations in place across the country. Rather than continuing to litigate the Applicability Date Rule, however, the agencies have decided to focus on the rulemaking actions underway.

    Pursuant to the South Carolina district court’s order, the 2015 Rule is in effect in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. The agencies recognize the uncertainty this decision has created and are committed to working closely with states and stakeholders to provide updated information on an ongoing basis regarding which rules are in place in which states. If a state, tribe, or an entity has specific questions about a pending jurisdictional determination or permit, please contact a local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District office or the EPA. The map below indicates the 23 states where 2015 Clean Water Rule remains in effect.

  • 17 June 2019  - Public comment period on National Wetland Plant List for 2018
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of an interagency effort is accepting comments on the draft biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) for 2018. The draft update was published in the June 10, 2019 Federal Register and allows for public comment on the proposed update or addition of wetland indicator status ratings for 20 plant species in select USACE wetland regions. Input in the form of data, comments, literature references, or field experiences, will be used to clarify the status of the species reviewed for this update, as well as public input on the NWPL process. The 20 reviewed species and their draft 2018 wetland ratings by region, as well as the Federal Register notice, can be viewed at the NWPL homepage under "2018 NWPL Update Information."  Comments and information received on or before August 9, 2019 will be compiled and sent to the NWPL National Panel for consideration.

  • 11 March 2019 - Definition of "Waters of the United States":  Rule Status and Litigation Update The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army are disappointed by the district courts’ rulings which leaves a confusing patchwork of authority in place across the country.  Rather than continuing to litigate the Applicability Date Rule, the agencies have decided to focus on the rulemaking actions underway.  The agencies are pursuing a two-step rulemaking process in response to the February 2017 Executive Order 13778 calling on the agencies to review the final 2015 Rule and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule.  The agencies are currently reviewing the nearly 800,000 public comments received on the first step to rescind the 2015 Rule and re-codify the prior regulations. In addition, the agencies published on February 14, 2019, a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States." 

  • 14 February 2019 - EPA and Army publish proposed revised "waters of the United States" definition
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced today the publishing in the Federal Register of the proposed new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states.  The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule."  The publishing of the proposal and outreach efforts were delayed due to the lapse in appropriations for EPA.  Today's notice begins a 60-day public comment period that will close on April 15, 2019. EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast on February 14, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on February 27-28, 2019. Additional Information, including supporting analyses and fact sheets, is available at:  https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule

  • 7 January 2019 - EPA and Army Postpone Public Hearing on Proposed New "Waters of the United States" Definition Due to the lapse in appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA and the Department of the Army (Army) have postponed the planned January 23 public hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition until after appropriations have passed to fund the EPA. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is also postponed. Information on the public hearing is posted on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/epa-and-army-postpone-public-hearing-proposed-new-waters-united-states-definition.

  • 11 December 2018 - EPA and Army Propose New "Waters of the United States" Definition The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019. More information including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, the supporting analyses and fact sheets are available at:  https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.

  • 2 October 2018 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 18-01 (Compensatory mitigation credits for removal of obsolete dams and other structures from rivers and streams) The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 18-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on the factors they should consider when determining the amount of compensatory mitigation credit generated from the removal of obsolete dams or other structures to restore rivers and streams.

  • 16 August 2018 - Definition of "Waters of the United States": Rule Status and Litigation Update The EPA and the Army continue to review the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina’s decision to vacate and nationally enjoin the agencies’ final rule that added an applicability date to the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Pursuant to the court’s order, the 2015 Clean Water Rule is now in effect in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Parties to the case, including the EPA and the Army, have filed motions appealing the order and seeking a stay of the district court’s decision. While the litigation continues, the agencies are complying with the district court’s order, and implementation issues that arise are being handled on a case-by-case basis. The agencies recognize the uncertainty this decision has created and are committed to working closely with states and stakeholders to provide updated information on an ongoing basis regarding which rules are in place in which states. If a state, tribe, or an entity has specific questions about a pending jurisdictional determination or permit, please contact a local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District office or the EPA.

  • 20 May 2016 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today that it has prepared its proposal to renew and revise 50 nationwide permits. In addition, USACE will propose to issue two new nationwide permits that pertain to authorizing the removal of low-head dams and the construction and maintenance of living shorelines. A pre-publication copy of the proposal is available here. The proposal is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register in a few days. The public comment period will not begin until the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

  • 18 Apr 2016  - 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, published the final biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) in the federal register.  All comments have been evaluated and final indicator statuses have been set. The 2016 NWPL will become effective on 1 May 2016. For more information click here.

  • 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.

  • 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 2015Memorandum 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.