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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.

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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

Instructions for submitting requests electronically
General questions and inquiries about the Regulatory Program or 408 Program?
Call: (916) 557-5250


Latest News

  • April 6, 2022 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released ENG Forms 6116 (1-9), Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheet (ADS), and the associated “User Guide for Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheets” (User Guide). The documents are available at the USACE Regulatory Headquarters website in both Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Excel (Excel) file formats (see links below). Practitioners should, at a minimum, utilize the PDF versions of the Office of Management and Budget approved forms to document the presence or absence of wetlands for the applications related to the administration of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA). The Excel-based ADS is an optional tool.  The Excel-based ADS increases technical accuracy by reducing errors and increases efficiency by automatically populating many of the field indicators of wetland hydrology, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydric soils. See


  • March 11, 2022 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), published a technical report: Rossi & David Field guide to identifying the upper extent of stream channels, ERDC/CRREL TR-22-6. This technical report articulates a methodology for the identification of where a stream channel begins based on the weight of evidence approach combining available information such as ground observations and remote data. We anticipate that this will be an important tool for delineating the upper extent of stream channels.

  • February 3, 2022 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), published a technical note: Gutenson & Deters Antecedent Precipitation Tool (APT) Version 1.0: technical and user guide, ERDC/TN WRAP-2201. The tool is available for download via GitHub at APT modernizes and automates the method for assessing precipitation normalcy in the Regional Supplements to the Wetland Delineation Manual (i.e., those indicators and procedures citing Sprecher & Warne (2000) Assessing and Using Meteorological Data to Evaluate Wetland Hydrology, ERDC/EL TR-WRAP-00-1). The tool also incorporates seasonality and drought information and is useful in providing context for the interpretation of aerial imagery, shallow groundwater monitoring, ground observations, etc.

  • December 27, 2021 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule in the Federal Register that reissues 40 Nationwide Permits and issues one new Nationwide Permit 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 final rule was published in the Federal Register today. The final rule is available at: and the decision documents for these nationwide permits are available at (docket number COE-2020-0002)

  • November 18, 2021 - 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.” 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. More information about the announcement can be found at

  • November 2, 2021 - 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: 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 (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

  • September 3, 2021The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies continue to review the order and consider next steps. This includes working expeditiously to move forward with the rulemakings announced on June 9, 2021, in order to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The agencies remain committed to crafting a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is informed by diverse perspectives and based on an inclusive foundation. Additional information is available on EPA’s website at:

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.