Regulatory Mission

The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the federal government. Initially, it served a fairly 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 Regulatory Program administers and enforces Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972, as amended; and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.  Under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, a Corps permit is required for work or structures in, over, or under navigable waters of the United States.  Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, a Corps 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' Section 404 regulatory authority.  Under Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, the Corps regulates the transport and disposal of dredged material at designated ocean sites.

All Corps permit decisions are subject to various other Federal laws applicable to Federal actions, such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.

For more information on our Regulatory Program, please feel free to browse our website.

Recent News

12/2/22:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and EPA (the Agencies) jointly announce the availability of the Interim Draft of the National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams (National OHWM Manual) and its accompanying data sheet. The Interim Draft National OHWM Manual provides draft technical guidance for identifying and delineating the OHWM using a scientifically supported, rapid framework. The Agencies are requesting comments and feedback from the public and practitioners on the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual via the public notice linked below. Following the public comment period and additional field testing, comments and feedback received from the public and practitioners will be utilized to further refine the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual for clarity, consistency, and technical accuracy. The one-year testing and comment period ends on December 1, 2023. A final version of the National OHWM Manual is anticipated to be published during 2024.

During the period while the OHWM Manual is an interim draft, OHWM identification and/or delineation for official USACE Regulatory purposes should continue in accordance with the applicable OHWM definition in the Federal regulations, Regulatory Guidance Letter 05-05, and any applicable USACE district policies. However, USACE Regulatory staff are encouraged to test the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual and provide comments and feedback by emailing usace.ohwm@usace.army.mil.

02/17/22:  In conjunction with the reissuance of 40 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and 1 new NWP, the South Pacific Division commander has approved the final regional conditions for the States of California and Arizona. These 41 NWPs and the associated regional conditions will go into effect on February 25, 2022 and will expire on March 14 2026. Further information is provided in the Los Angeles District’s Special Public Notices for California and Arizona.

01/5/22:  Information on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule vacatur is provided at: https://www.usace.army.mil/Media/Announcements/Article/2888988/5-january-2022-navigable-waters-protection-rule-vacatur/.

12/27/21:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 73522) announcing the reissuance of 40 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and one new NWP.  These 41 NWPs will go into effect on February 25, 2022, and they will expire on March 14, 2026. Further information is provided in the Los Angeles District’s Special Public Notice for the Federal Register notice and NWP reissuance, which can be viewed at: https://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Media/Public-Notices/Article/2892767/reissuance-of-nationwide-permits/.

11/2/21:  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: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list.

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 https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox).

10/20/21:  The Corps’ South Pacific Division issued a notice regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army announcement of a process for stakeholders to submit nomination letters for a slate of nominees to potentially be selected for one of the geographically focused roundtables on revisions to the definition of Waters of the United States.  See https://www.spd.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices-and-References/Article/2816963/waters-of-the-us-wotus-public-outreach-and-stakeholder-engagement-activities/.

07/30/21:  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) have announced plans for upcoming community engagements to inform their efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). EPA and Army have stated a commitment to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.

EPA and Army are announcing a series of engagement opportunities, including an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide written recommendations and a series of public meetings in August to hear perspectives on the rulemaking. In addition, the agencies are initiating Federalism and Tribal consultations for the foundational rule. The agencies also intend to host a series of dialogues with state and Tribal co-regulators this fall to discuss both rulemakings.

The full announcement can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-and-army-announce-next-steps-crafting-enduring-definition-waters-united-states.

For more information on submitting written recommendations or to register for the public meetings, see www.epa.gov/wotus.

03/25/21:  On March 24, 2021, Col. Julie Balten, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, finalized two approved jurisdictional determinations for lands associated with the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine, located south of Tucson, Arizona.

An approved jurisdictional determination states the presence or absence of waters of the U.S. or provides the limits of waters of the U.S. The determinations were made pursuant to federal regulations, known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, (NWPR) (33 CFR 328.3), which sets forth the definition for what is or is not geographically jurisdictional under the Clean Water Act.

After an extensive review of data from federal, state and local sources, Col. Balten concluded there are no waters of the U.S. present within the review areas.

A copy of the approved jurisdictional determinations and associated information can be viewed at: https://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Projects-Programs/Rosemont.

Contact Us

Department of the Army
Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Division
915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 930
Los Angeles, CA 90017
 

Transportation & Special Projects Branch (213) 452-3425; splregtsp@usace.army.mil
        High-Speed Train, Mid-County Parkway/South Orange County/ Caltrans

North Coast Branch/Ventura Field Office (805) 585-2140; splregventura@usace.army.mil
        Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Inyo, and Mono Counties

Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties Section (213) 452-3425; splreglasb@usace.army.mil
         Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Kern Counties

South Coast Branch/San Diego and Imperial Counties Section (760) 602-4829; splregcbad@usace.army.mil
        San Diego County, Imperial County, Salton Sea

South Coast Branch/Orange and Riverside Counties Team (213) 452-3425; splregorcs@usace.army.mil
        Orange County, Riverside County, Special Area Management Plans

Arizona Branch (602) 230-6949; splregulatoryaz@usace.army.mil

Please direct all agriculture-related questions to: AgriculturalOffice@usace.army.mil

Regulatory Program Links

Redirecting...

Sign Up for Public Notices

Email Notification of Public Notices Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought.

Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest.

Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

Public Notices published by the Los Angeles District under the Regulatory Program are posted on this page. Once a public notice is available on-line, an email notification is sent to individuals on the appropriate mailing list.

If you would like to be added to one or more of our public notice mailing lists, please use our sign-up form to indicate which list(s) you would like your email address to be added to. 

SIGN UP HERE!