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Latest News

  • 07 August 2019 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 19-02 (Timeframes for Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications and Clarification of Waiver Responsibility)  The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-02. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers to clarify timeframes improve efficiency for receiving Section 401 Water Quality Certification decisions.
  • 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.

     
  • 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.
     
  • 25 February 2019 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 19-01 (Mitigation Bank Credit Release Schedules and Equivalency in Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee Program Service Areas)  The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on credit release schedule for mitigation banks and on using consistent criteria to establish service areas for both mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs.

  • 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.

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.