US Army Corps of Engineers
Sacramento District Website

Questions about the Regulatory Program or 408 Program?

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

Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to COVID-19, staff responsible for administering the Regulatory Program are teleworking from home or other approved location.  All personnel have access to their work email and can be reached through their work telephone number.  We are doing our best to process permit applications as quickly as possible.  However, customers may experience some delays.

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.

Contact Your Local Office

We Are Paperless

We accept all documents, including permit application materials and requests for jurisdictional determinations, in digital format. Instructions here.  Please submit documents to your project manager.  If you have a new request or do not know your project manager, send it to SPKRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil

Instructions for submitting requests electronically
General questions and inquiries about the Regulatory Program or 408 Program?
Call: (916) 557-5250
Email: SPKRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil

 

Latest News

  • March 24, 2021 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is announcing the availability of the draft changes to the 2020 NWPL and its web address to solicit public comments.  The public now has the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to wetland indicator status ratings for five plant species in select regions and the addition of 22 new plant species to the NWPL.  The Federal Register Notice (FRN) for the 2020 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-03-24/pdf/2021-05989.pdf.  The public comment period ends on 24 May 2021. The 27 species and their draft 2020 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FRN, can be viewed at the NWPL homepage, http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/, under “2020 NWPL Update Information.”  A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. Users are encouraged to submit literature citations, herbaria records, experiential references, monitoring data, and other relevant information.  Specific knowledge of, or studies related to, individual species are particularly helpful.  Commenters should use their regional botanical and ecological expertise, field observations, reviews of the most recent indicator status information, appropriate botanical literature, floras, herbarium specimens with notation of habitat and associated species, habit data, relevant studies, and historic list information.  Providing ratings without supporting documentation or information is not recommended.  All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration. USACE is also seeking comments regarding the administrative change to the South Pacific Islands subregion and the NWPL update process.  Detailed information on the update process, protocol, and technical issues can be found in the following documents (available on the “NWPL Publications” web page referenced above): (1) Lichvar, Robert W. and Minkin, Paul. Concepts and Procedures for Updating the National Wetland Plant List. Sept 2008. ERDC/CRREL TN-08-3, and (2) Lichvar, Robert W. and Gillrich, Jennifer J. Final Protocol for Assigning Wetland Indicator Status Ratings during National Wetland Plant List Update. Sept 2011. ERDC/CRREL TN-11-1.  USACE administers the NWPL for the United States and its territories.  The NWPL provides plant species 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.  Additions or deletions to the NWPL represent new records, range extensions, nomenclatural and taxonomic changes, and newly proposed species.  The latest review process began in 2020 and included review by Regional Panels and the National Panel. 
     
  • July 24, 2020 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a memorandum to the field regarding application of the exemptions under Section 404(f)(1)(C) of the CWA for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and for the maintenance of drainage ditches.  For purposes of implementing the ditch exemptions, the memo defines terms including “irrigation ditch” and “drainage ditch” and provides a framework for determining the applicability of the ditch exemptions and the recapture provision in CWA Section 404(f)(2).   The contents of the document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. The memo is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.  The memo supersedes Corps Regulatory Guidance Letter 07-02.   It is the third of four memoranda developed to support implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which became effective June 22, 2020.  As each memorandum is released, they are posted to www.epa.gov/nwpr.
     
  • July 17, 2020 - The U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a memorandum to the field concerning issues related to implementation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended.  The memorandum was developed to minimize duplication of efforts pursuant to the CWA Section 404 program and the Food Security Act (FSA) Wetland Conservation Provisions, while recognizing the inherent differences in the purpose and language of those laws.  It is designed to facilitate EPA, Army, Corps, and USDA efforts to ensure that federal wetland programs, including those that identify prior converted cropland, are administered in an efficient and effective manner.  The memorandum provides procedures for use by the agencies’ personnel that minimize impacts on affected landowners and operators while continuing to fulfill the missions of the respective agencies.  The contents of this memorandum do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This memorandum is intended only to provide clarity to the agencies and the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. The memorandum to the field is the second of four memoranda that are being developed to support the implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which became effective on June 22, 2020.  Find the memo here.
     
  • July 7, 2020 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has published the interim approved jurisdictional determination form and user manual on the Headquarters jurisdictional information page (https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/juris_info/).The interim approved jurisdictional determination form and user manual are provided for transparency purposes only and are for internal use only by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
     
  • June 22, 2020 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (NWPR) became effective in 49 states and in all US territories.  A preliminary injunction (PI) was been granted for the State of Colorado.  Federal jurisdiction in Colorado will be determined using the 2019 Rule (the recodification of the 1986 Regulations) and associated 2003/2008 (SWANCC/Rapanos) guidance documents. The NWPR establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The NWPR includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. Additional information about the NWPR can be found on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.   Information on jurisdiction can also be found at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/juris_info/.
     
  • June 1, 2020 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” to implement the water quality certification process consistent with the text and structure of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The final rule establishes procedures that promote consistent implementation of CWA section 401 and regulatory certainty in the federal licensing and permitting process. The final rule also, for the first time, provides a holistic analysis of the statutory text, legislative history, and relevant case law informing implementation of CWA section 401. The final rule will become effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.  More information at https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/final-rule-clean-water-act-section-401-certification-rule

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.