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. Today, USACE regulates structures and work in navigable waters of the U.S. under Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, discharges of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S. (including jurisdictional wetlands) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of ocean disposal under Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.
The Corps balances the reasonably foreseeable benefits and detriments of proposed projects, and makes permit decisions that recognize the essential values of the Nation's aquatic ecosystems to the general public, as well as the property rights of private citizens who want to use their land. During the permit process, the Corps considers the views of other Federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest review are fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the U.S. The Corps strives to make its permit decisions in a timely manner that minimizes impacts to the regulated public.
For projects determined to have unavoidable impacts to waters of the U.S. after an applicant has demonstrated avoidance and minimization to the maximum extent practicable, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation to replace lost aquatic function. Mitigation is frequently provided through a federally-approved compensatory mitigation bank.
Enforcement action may be taken on unauthorized activities in waters of the U.S. and violations of issued permit conditions. The assistance of members of the public and other interested Federal, State and local agencies for reporting a suspected violation is encouraged.
The Vicksburg District Regulatory team continues to work daily to assure that the Nation’s aquatic resources are protected while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible, and balanced permit decisions.
NOTICE: On 7 January 2019, the EPA and Department of the Army postponed a planned Public Hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition. Please see News and Announcement (below) for more information.