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COVID-19

The Southwestern Division Regulatory Program does not expect to make changes due to the current health concerns. We will continue to implement our Regulatory Program and continue to process applications for the public. Applicants should continue working with their local district office. We, however, ask for patience, as applications may experience slightly delayed reaction times as employees may be working in remote situations.

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Waters of the United States Announcement

EPA and Army Publish the Navigable Waters Protection Rule 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register. This final rule establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. The final rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. The published version is 93 pages, and the citation is: 85 FR 22250.  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 website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.

Regulatory Program

The Southwestern Division (SWD) Regulatory Program includes the Fort Worth, Galveston, Little Rock, and Tulsa districts.  Approximately 90 regulatory project managers in these four districts finalize over 6,000 permit and 5,000 jurisdictional related actions each year.  These actions result in the authorization of millions of dollars in development projects that create thousands of jobs both during and after construction, all while protecting the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of our waters. 

Mission

The US Army Corps of Engineers administers a permit program that authorizes actions in or affecting navigable waters of the US under the authority of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; actions involving the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the US, including wetlands, under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA); and the transportation of dredged material for disposal in the ocean under Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. Both public and private landowners must obtain permits from the Corps prior to beginning such actions.

Permit related actions typically include residential/commercial/institutional developments, highways and roads, energy production, pipelines, surface mining, drainage projects, bank stabilization, ports, docks, dredging, and emergency work.  Finally, applicants may appeal approved jurisdictional determinations as well as denied or declined proffered permits under the Regulatory Appeal Process.