US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District

Regulatory Division

Regulatory Menu


Regulatory Program Misson

Water is one of our nation’s most valuable resources. It is becoming increasingly important that we protect the quality of our inland waters and wetlands for the use and benefit of future generations.

The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible, and balanced permit decisions.  

49 Slough, a water of the U.S.

(49 Slough, a Water of the U.S.)

Program Overview

The Walla Walla District, Corps of Engineers is responsible for administering the Regulatory Program in the State of Idaho. The Regulatory office processes permit applications for work that occurs in “waters of the United States” that are regulated by the Corps.

Regulated activities within our jurisdiction require a permit from the Corps. The majority of Regulatory Program authority falls under two laws:

  1. Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (1890 & 1899)
  2. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Examples of areas that may be within Corps jurisdiction are:

  • Marshes and swamps
  • Streams, creeks, and rivers
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Wetlands, including seasonally-saturated forested and non-forested wetlands

Examples of work activities that require a permit include:

  • Dredging of waterways
  • Bank stabilization
  • Recreational ponds and lakes
  • Construction of piers, docks, marinas, fleeting areas, boat ramps, roads
  • Residential and commercial developments
  • Utility lines
  • Mining activities

Our Goals

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in regulating certain activities (i.e. navigation) in U.S. waters since 1890. Since then, new laws and judicial decisions have evolved the program to include consideration of public interest by balancing favorable impacts against detrimental impacts to Waters of the U.S. 

The Walla Walla District Regulatory Program strives reach the goals of the mission:

1.  To provide protection to the nation’s aquatic environment, including wetlands.

2.  To enhance the efficiency of the administration of the regulatory program.

3.  To ensure that the Corps provides the public with fair and reasonable decisions.

Contact Us


Phone: (208) 433-4464

Click here for our office boundary map. 


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EPA and Army announced today the signing of a final rule (Step 1 Final Rule) to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and restore the regulatory regime that existed prior to the 2015 Rule.  Today's Step 1 Final Rule is in keeping with President Trump’s Executive Order 13778, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”  Prior to today's rule, a patchwork of regulations existed across the country as a result of various judicial decisions enjoining the 2015 Clean Water Rule.  Today's final rule reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which many regulatory agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public are familiar with.  This final rule also provides regulatory certainty, while the agencies engage in the second step of rulemaking (Step 2 Proposed Rule) to revise the definition of "waters of the U.S."   The Step 2 Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2019, and public comments were received through April 15, 2019.  EPA and Army are currently reviewing more than 600,000 comments received before taking final action.  For more information on the "Waters of the U.S" rulemaking, please visit  For questions about a pending jurisdictional determination or permit, we ask that you contact your local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Office.  Office information can be found at

(Timeframes for Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications and Clarification of Waiver Responsibility)  The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-02. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers to clarify timeframes improve efficiency for receiving Section 401 Water Quality Certification decisions.

This is an informational Special Public Notice announcing the Walla Walla District Regulatory Division’s change in geographic area of responsibility for field offices within the state of Idaho.

Please follow the link below for more information and to view the guidance documents and attachments.

This guidance applies to all wetland delineation reports submitted in Idaho for concurrence by the Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, Regulatory Division. The District has established this guidance to ensure consistency and accuracy in delineation reports and to aid the District in the verification of a delineation report.

Please follow the link below for more information and to view the guidance documents and attachments. 

10 June 2019  - 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, announces the draft biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) for 2018 in the Federal Register.  The Corps encourages public input in the form of data, comments, literature references, or field experiences, to help clarify the status of the species reviewed for this update, as well as public input on the NWPL process.  The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed update or addition of wetland indicator status ratings for 20 plant species in select Corps wetland regions.  These 20 reviewed species and their draft 2018 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FR notice, can be viewed at the NWPL homepage, under “2018 NWPL Update Information.” A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. Users are encouraged to submit literature citations, herbaria records, experiential references, monitoring data, and other relevant information. Specific knowledge of, or studies related to, individual species are particularly helpful. Commenters should use their regional botanical and ecological expertise, field observations, reviews of the most recent indicator status information, appropriate botanical literature, floras, herbarium specimens with notation of habitat and associated species, habit data, relevant studies, and historic list information. Guessing ratings is inappropriate. All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration.


The Corps is also seeking comments on the NWPL update process. Detailed information on the update process, protocol, and technical issues can be found in the following documents (available on the NWPL Publications web page referenced above):


1) Lichvar, Robert W. and Minkin, Paul. Concepts and Procedures for Updating the National Wetland Plant List. Sept 2008. ERDC/CRREL TN-08-3


2) Lichvar, Robert W. and Gillrich, Jennifer J. Final Protocol for Assigning Wetland Indicator Status Ratings during National Wetland Plant List Update. Sept 2011. ERDC/CRREL TN-11-1




Bri McGuffie

HQUSACE Regulatory Program Manager

441 G Street NW

Washington, DC 20314-1000

(202) 761-4750

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army are disappointed by the district courts’ rulings which leaves a confusing patchwork of authority in place across the country.  Rather than continuing to litigate the Applicability Date Rule, the agencies have decided to focus on the rule-making actions underway.  The agencies are pursuing a two-step rule-making process in response to the February 2017 Executive Order 13778 calling on the agencies to review the final 2015 Rule and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule.  The agencies are currently reviewing the nearly 800,000 public comments received on the first step to rescind the 2015 Rule and re-codify the prior regulations. In addition, the agencies published on February 14, 2019, a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States."

For more information please follow:

On February 22, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-01 “Mitigation Bank Credit Release Schedules and Equivalency in Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee Program Service Areas.” Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RGL 19-01 provides guidance to District Commanders on two issues relating to that authority: credit release schedules for mitigation banks and consistency in establishing service areas for mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs.

In 2015, the Corps conducted an analysis of the implementation of the 2008 Mitigation Rule. The analysis compared the processing timeframes for Department of the Army permits between the use mitigation bank or in-lieu fee credits and permittee-responsible mitigation to meet compensatory mitigation requirements. Permit processing timeframes were reduced by approximately 50 percent with the use of mitigation bank or in lieu fee credits.

Consistent with flexibility within the 2008 Mitigation Rule, RGL 19-01 will provide a substantial benefit to the Nation by facilitating the release of more credits available for sale to permittees shortly after successful construction of a mitigation bank. The Army anticipates that allowing for additional credits for sale will result in mitigation credits be sold at a more competitive, fair and comparable prices.

“Having more credits available for sale to permittees can allow for even more reduced permitting timeframes for the important infrastructure, energy, and other administration priority activities,” said R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works “Homebuilders and many others who need authorization from the Corps for their proposed activities will also benefit from increase in available mitigation credits.”

The credit release is contingent on the bank sponsor successfully constructing the mitigation bank in accordance with the Corps approved mitigation plan and providing sufficient financial assurances that the bank will meet the approved ecological performance standards.

This guidance will benefit the mitigation bankers businesses, the permittees, as well as the aquatic resources. The Army anticipates that improved guidance in releasing mitigation credits will encourage more investment in mitigation banks, thereby improving the quantity and quality of aquatic habitat being restored Nation-wide.

In addition to addressing the credit release schedules for mitigation banks, the RGL also addresses service areas for mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs. In 2004, Congress mandated that the Corps in developing the 2008 Mitigation Rule to "apply equivalent standards and criteria to each type [on-site, off-site, and in-lieu fee mitigation and mitigation banking] of compensatory mitigation". Therefore, the guidance makes clear that with each District, the Corps should ensure that the same criteria are used to establish similar service areas for mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs.

To read RGL 19-01, the 2008 Final Mitigation Rule and for more information on the Corps’ Regulatory Program, please go to

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced today the publishing in the Federal Register of the proposed new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The notice is available at The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The publishing of the proposal and outreach efforts were delayed due to the lapse in appropriations for EPA. Today's notice begins a 60-day public comment period that will close on April 15, 2019. EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast on February 14, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on February 27-28, 2019. Information, including supporting analyses and fact sheets, are available at: and

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2 October 2018 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 18-01 (Compensatory mitigation credits for removal of obsolete dams and other structures from rivers and streams)

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 18-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on the factors they should consider when determining the amount of compensatory mitigation credit generated from the removal of obsolete dams or other structures to restore rivers and streams.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) issued Final Water Quality Certification (WQC) for the State of Idaho (excluding Indian Country) on March 3, 2017. IDEQ issued partial certification on NWPs 12, 13, and 14; denied certification on NWPs 16, 17, 23, 51, 52, 53 and 54; and certified the remainder of the NWPs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Final WQC in those areas where EPA is the certifying authority within the State of Idaho on March 6, 2017. After review of the WQC, the Corps has determined that certain EPA General Conditions which pertain to partially certified and certified NWPs contain unacceptable conditions. Therefore, the Division Commander administratively denied the EPA WQC for the 2017 NWPs in those areas where EPA is the certifying authority within the State of Idaho. An individual water quality certification from EPA will be required for all actions permitted under the 2017 NWPs for areas in Idaho where EPA is the certifying authority.

The Coeur d’ Alene Tribe and the Shoshone Bannock Tribe have denied without prejudice, water quality certification for all activities authorized by NWPs on lands within the Shoshone Bannock Fort Hall Reservation and on TAS approved waters of the Coeur d’ Alene Reservation, respectively. An individual 401 certification is required for any project within the Fort Hall Reservation and on TAS approved waters of the Coeur d’ Alene Reservation.

See our Public Notices page for more information.

The Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released a Special Public Notice that revised Regional Conditions for Idaho will become effective on March 19, 2017. 

The Walla Walla District has made several changes to the Regional Conditions advertised in the June 13, 2016 Public Notice, based on comments from Federal, State, and local agencies, and the general public. Changes generally include re-working the condition for clarification, or deleting a condition that was repetitive with an existing Nationwide Permit General Condition. The most notable changes include: 

  1. Combining Regional Condition: Dewatering with NWP 33 Temporary Construction, Access and Dewatering into Regional Condition C-Temporary Construction, Access and Dewatering;
  2. Moving Regional Condition: Select Waters and Wetlands from a condition to a coordination provision within a new section of the Regional Condition document titled “Notification Procedures for Certain Nationwide Permits”; and
  3. The addition of three new definitions