US Army Corps of Engineers
North Atlantic Division Website

Regulatory Program and Permitting

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22 Jun 2020 - Navigable Waters Protection Rule becomes effective


The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR):  Definition of “Waters of the United States” became effective on June 22, 2020 in 49 states and all US territories. 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.  The Federal Register notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/21/2020-02500/the-navigable-waters-protection-rule-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states.  Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.

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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, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the Nation's waters, including wetlands. The Corps' regulatory personnel ensure that any environmental impact on aquatic resources from these construction activities is avoided, minimized, or mitigated. We are dedicated to protecting the nation’s aquatic resources while allowing reasonable and necessary development to go forward.

The heart of the Corps' regulatory program is the public interest review process, which is designed to produce fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions.

For more information on how to obtain a permit, click here.

There are times when decisions are appealed on the issuance or denial of a permit. For more information on the Division's administrative appeal process, click here.
 

If you need help filling out a permit application form contact your nearest District office or use our online tool.