IMPORTANT

Submit all correspondence including permit applications and delineation requests electronically to CESPN-Regulatory-Info@usace.army.mil.

COVID-19 CONTACT UPDATE

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, much of our workforce will be working remotely. Submit all correspondence electronically to minimize potential delays.  Preconstruction notifications and permit applications, delineation requests, and 401 water quality certification documents should be sent to CESPN-Regulatory-Info@usace.army.mil.

We can receive emails with files up to 35 MB in size.  Larger files can be transmitted using the DoD SAFE web app (https://safe.apps.mil/about.php).  If you require use of DoD SAFE for your documentation submittals, please coordinate with Corps staff at CESPN-Regulatory-Info@usace.army.mil to upload and transfer your files.

Regulatory Mission

The Department of the Army's Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the federal government. Initially, it served a simple purpose: to protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the nation's waters. Changing public needs, evolving policy, court decisions and new statutory mandates have changed several aspects of the program including its breadth, complexity and authority.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the Regulatory Program, administers and enforces Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under RHA Section 10, a permit is required for work or structures in, over or under navigable waters of the United States. Under CWA Section 404, a permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. Many waterbodies and wetlands in the nation are waters of the United States and are subject to the Corps' regulatory authority.

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

Latest News

Collapse All Expand All

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order vacating and remanding the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 regulations implementing Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  On November 18, 2021, after a temporary pause on permit decisions reliant on a Section 401 water quality certification or waiver completed under the vacated regulations, Corps districts resumed making decisions on all permit applications and requests for nationwide permit verifications.  As part of that decision making process, districts will coordinate with certifying authorities on water quality certifications that are potentially impacted by the vacatur order.

Additional information regarding the vacatur can be found on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/2020-clean-water-act-section-401-certification-rule

the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” This proposal marks a key milestone in the regulatory process announced in June of 2021. The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This familiar approach to “waters of the United States” would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.

In developing the proposed rule, EPA and the Army reviewed and considered the extensive feedback and recommendations the agencies received from states, tribes, local governments, and stakeholders throughout consultations and pre-proposal meetings and webinars.

The agencies’ press release for the 18 November 2021 announcement is available at https://www.epa.gov/wotus/revising-definition-waters-united-states .

After careful consideration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have rescinded the memorandum “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Process for Elevating and Coordinating Specific Draft Determinations under the Clean Water Act (CWA),” signed by EPA on June 26, 2020 and Army on June 30, 2020. The memorandum established a process by which the Corps and EPA (together, the agencies) intended to elevate to their headquarters for coordination certain case-specific and stand-alone CWA determinations under paragraph (a)(1) of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). The NWPR did not change the definition of traditional navigable waters and retained the agencies’ longstanding “guidance on determining whether a water is a ‘traditional navigable water’ for purposes of the Rapanos Guidance, the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the agencies’ CWA implementing regulations.” However, by establishing new procedures for one category of traditional navigable waters, the 2020 elevation memorandum created an unnecessary extra step for making traditional navigable waters determinations that the agencies have been making for many years. Therefore, the agencies are rescinding that memorandum, and retaining their legal memorandum on traditional navigable waters, which has remained unchanged since 2007. The legal memorandum, “Legal Definition of ‘Traditional Navigable Waters,’” can be found at https://www.epa.gov/wotus/legal-definition-traditional-navigable-waters.”

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, is announcing the availability of the final 2020 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2020 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list

The NWPL provides plant species wetland indicator status ratings, which are used in determining whether the hydrophytic vegetation factor is met when conducting wetland delineations under the Clean Water Act and wetland determinations under the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the NWPL include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. The list is effective as of 2 November 2021 and will be used in any wetland delineations performed after this date. Completed wetland delineation/determination forms should reference the version of the NWPL used to complete the form.  The final NWPL is available at https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

The Corps’ South Pacific Division issued a notice regarding the USEPA and the Department of the Army announcement of a process for stakeholders to submit nomination letters for a slate of nominees to potentially be selected for one of the geographically focused roundtables on revisions to the definition of Waters of the United States.  See https://www.spd.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices-and-References/Article/2816963/waters-of-the-us-wotus-public-outreach-and-stakeholder-engagement-activities/.

- More -

Regulatory Links

Redirecting...

Contact Information

Department of the Army
San Francisco District, Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Division
450 Golden Gate Ave., 4th Floor
San Francisco, California 94102-3404

Phone Number: (415) 503-6795
Fax Number: (415) 503-6693
cespn-regulatory-info@usace.army.mil