The Regulatory Program

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.

WATCH: Regulatory informational video

We Are Paperless

New requests for a pre-application meeting, jurisdictional determination, or permit should be submitted through the Regulatory Request System (RRS) at rrs.usace.army.mil.  You can also report a potential violation using the RRS.  Other requests will continue to be accepted in digital format though the Sacramento District Regulatory mailbox at SPKRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil.












Learn more about submitting a permit application here.

Latest News

  • May 15, 2024 – Permit applications are now available in RRS!  USACE is pleased to announce that the new national online application portal and management platform, known as the Regulatory Request System (RRS) now includes an electronic submission option for permit applications. This platform has been introduced to modernize our permit application process and to address our users' expectations by providing a straightforward and transparent process for the submittal of permit requests.  RRS is a web-based platform currently in a beta version that enables users to submit pre-application meeting requests, jurisdictional determination requests, and now applications for individual and general permits. This new system aims to streamline the process, improve efficiency, and provide a more user-friendly experience for our applicants. We believe that RRS will not only benefit our users by simplifying the application process but will also enhance our ability to effectively manage and review permit requests. We are confident that this modernization initiative will lead to improved customer satisfaction and greater overall efficiency within our Regulatory Program. We encourage users to explore and utilize the new Regulatory Request System to take advantage of its benefits and features. Visit rrs.usace.army.mil today!  For additional information on or to provide feedback on RRS, please contact us using the following email: rrs@usace.army.mil.

  • February 13, 2024 - 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 2022 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2022 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2024-02-13/pdf/2024-02903.pdf. 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 13 February 2024 and will be used in any wetland delineations performed after this date.

  • January 31, 2024 - USACE announces the launch of its new Regulatory Request System (RRS).  RRS is designed to make the review of permit requests a transparent and efficient process for the public. RRS, currently in a beta version, provides general information on the Regulatory Program and allows the public to submit pre-application meeting requests and jurisdictional determination requests. Additional capability is scheduled in Spring 2024. This added capability will allow users the ability to electronically submit individual and general permit applications and other necessary information, saving time and reducing the need for paper-based submissions. RRS will streamline the permit application process and underscores USACE commitment to modernizing our application process, meeting user expectations, and providing a transparent, straightforward process for the timely review of permit requests. Stay tuned for further updates on the full release of the RRS. Please click on the following link to access RRS: rrs.usace.army.mil. For additional information on or to provide feedback on RRS, please contact the rrs@usace.army.mil.

  • September 8, 2023 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (the agencies) issued a final rule to amend the final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule, published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2023. This final rule conforms the definition of “waters of the United States” to the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 25, 2023, decision in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. Parts of the January 2023 Rule are invalid under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act in the Sackett decision. Therefore, the agencies have amended key aspects of the regulatory text to conform it to the Court’s decision. The conforming rule, "Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'; Conforming," was published in the Federal Register and became effective September 8, 2023. 

Our Commitment to Public Service

Public Service is a Public Trust. As Corps Regulators, we must earn this trust and, to keep this trust, we must conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects the following principles:

Professional. We will conduct ourselves in a professional manner in dealings with all our customers, including applicants, violators, agencies, interest groups and the general public.
Fair and Reasonable. We will be open-minded, impartial, and consistent in our interactions with all our customers to ensure all actions and decisions are free from bias and are not arbitrary or capricious. Customers will be treated equally and with tolerance.
Knowledgeable. We will remain knowledgeable of applicable laws, regulations, and scientific and technical advances which affect our program.
Honesty. We will be truthful, straightforward, and candid in all dealings with our customers.
Timeliness. We will strive to provide our customers with timely regulatory responses regardless of whether those responses are favorable or adverse.
Accountability. We will be decisive in all actions and accept responsibility for any of our decisions and resulting consequences. All decisions will be factual and properly documented.
Respect. We will treat our customers with dignity, courtesy, compassion, and sensitivity.

Contact information

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Questions about the Regulatory Program or 408 Program?

Call: (916) 557-5250
Email: SPKRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil

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