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On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the October 2021 order by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that vacated EPA’s 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule. The stay of the vacatur applies nationwide. Therefore, the CWA Section 401 certification process is once again governed by the CWA section 401 certification regulations promulgated by EPA in 2020. Districts will confer with certifying authorities regarding water quality certification decisions they issued on or after April 6, 2022 to determine whether they would like us to review those decisions under EPA’s 2020 Rule, or if they would like us to extend the reasonable period of time (when possible within the one year statutory limit) to allow the certifying authority to process the WQC request under EPA’s 2020 Rule. Permit actions or general permit verifications that were finalized prior to April 6, 2022 do not have to be revisited. Additional information regarding the stay can be found on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/qa-stay-2020-rule-vacatur

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announces the release of the ENG Forms 6116 (1-9), Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheet (ADS), and the associated “User Guide for Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheets.” These documents are available at the USACE Regulatory Headquarters website in both Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Excel (Excel) file formats. Practitioners should, at a minimum, utilize the PDF versions of the Office of Management and Budget approved forms to document the presence or absence of wetlands for the applications related to the administration of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA). The Excel-based ADS is an optional tool.  However, the PDF versions do not provide the automated features found in the Excel-based versions.

LINK TO ADS AND USER GUIDE: (https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/reg_supp/).  (under “General Information”)

Wetland determination data forms are used to document the presence or absence of wetlands, as  outlined in the Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (Regional Supplements). The wetland determination data forms included in the Regional Supplements were initially published as PDF files which were intended to be manually completed by hand. A subsequent collaboration between the USACE Detroit District and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Wetlands Regulatory Assistance Program resulted in the development of an automated, Excel-based ADS for each of the 10 Regional Supplements and an associated user guide to aid in ADS application. 

The Excel-based ADS increases technical accuracy by reducing errors, and increases efficiency by automatically populating many of the field indicators of wetland hydrology, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydric soils. The ADS incorporates or includes the following:

  • Similar layout as the Regional Supplement wetland determination data forms,
  • Application of the most up-to-date plant species wetland indicator status ratings from the National Wetland Plant List (currently the 2020 National Wetland Plant List, version 3.5),
  • Automated calculation of hydrophytic vegetation indicators,
  • Automated interpretation of most hydric soil indicators and certain wetland hydrology indicators,
  • Automated features prompting users to complete or review required information,
  • Exportable to PDF or other electronic format, and the ability to print formatted hard copies, and
  • Application of the most up-to-date field indicators of hydric soils (currently version 8.2).

The ADS is utilized to document the presence or absence of wetlands. A wetland delineation alone is not a determination of the jurisdictional status of an area under the CWA or the RHA. Additional information and analysis beyond wetland delineation protocols is required to determine if an area is subject to CWA and/or RHA jurisdiction. The ADS do not provide any new guidance regarding wetland identification or delineation, or change USACE Regulatory program policies. Rather, the ADS provide a tool to help improve the efficiency and accuracy of field data collection and reporting. Users remain responsible for ensuring that wetland delineation data entry and analysis are accurate when utilizing the ADS for CWA and RHA applications.

For additional information on or application of the ADS, or to submit error reports, please contact autodatasheet@usace.army.mil.

The Department of the Army announced today the publishing of a Federal Register notice to initiate a formal review of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 for Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities. This review includes a series of public and tribal virtual meetings in May 2022 to gather input to inform future potential decision-making related to NWP 12 as well as a public docket to gather written comments during a 60-day comment period.  A pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice can be found here https://www.army.mil/article/254909. More information on this announcement is available at https://www.army.mil/article/254976.

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“the agencies”) are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”) nationwide and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies are working expeditiously to move forward with the rulemakings announced on June 9, 2021, in order to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The agencies remain committed to crafting a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is informed by diverse perspectives and based on an inclusive foundation.

On November 18, 2021, the agencies announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” This proposal marks a key milestone in the regulatory process announced in June 2021. The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This familiar approach would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the current implementation and future regulatory actions.

A durable definition of “waters of the United States” is essential to ensuring clean and safe water in all communities—supporting human health, animal habitat, agriculture, watersheds, flood management, local economies, and industry. This rulemaking process follows a review conducted by the agencies as directed by the January 20, 2021 Executive Order 13990 on “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”

Further details about the agencies’ plans, including information regarding the upcoming public meetings and proposed rule docket, can be found here.

An approved jurisdictional determination (“AJD”) is a document provided by the Corps stating the presence or absence of “waters of the United States” on a parcel or a written statement and map identifying the limits of “waters of the United States” on a parcel. See 33 C.F.R. § 331.2. Under existing Corps’ policy, AJDs are generally valid for five years unless new information warrants revision prior to the expiration date. See U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Guidance Letter No. 05–02, § 1(a), p. 1 (June 2005) (Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 05–02). 
 

As a general matter, the agencies’ actions are governed by the definition of “waters of the United States” that is in effect at the time the Corps completes an AJD, not by the date of the request for an AJD. AJDs completed prior to the court’s decision and not associated with a permit action (also known as “stand-alone” AJDs under RGL 16-01) will not be reopened until their expiration date, unless one of the criteria for revision is met under RGL 05-02. A NWPR AJD could also be reopened if the recipient of such an AJD requests a new AJD be provided pursuant to the pre-2015 regulatory regime. In that case, the Corps will honor such request recognizing that if the recipient of a NWPR AJD intends to discharge into waters identified as non-jurisdictional under the NWPR but which may be jurisdictional under the pre-2015 regulatory regime, such recipient may want to discuss their options with the Corps. AJD requests pending on, or received after, the Arizona court’s vacatur decision will be completed consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime.
 

As the agencies’ actions are governed by the regulatory definition at the time of the action, permit decisions made prior to the court’s decision that relied on a NWPR AJD will not be reconsidered in response to the NWPR vacatur. Permit decisions may be modified, suspended, or revoked per 33 C.F.R. § 325.7 where the regulatory criteria are met. The Corps will not rely on an AJD issued under the NWPR (a “NWPR AJD”) in making a new permit decision. The Corps will make new permit decisions pursuant to the currently applicable regulatory regime (i.e., the pre-2015 regulatory regime). Therefore, for any currently pending permit action that relies on a NWPR AJD, or for any future permit application received that intends to rely on a NWPR AJD for purposes of permit processing, the Corps will discuss with the applicant, as detailed in RGL 16-01, whether the applicant would like to receive a new AJD completed under the pre-2015 regulatory regime to continue their permit processing or whether the applicant would like to proceed in reliance on a preliminary JD or no JD whatsoever.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule in the Federal Register that reissues 40 nationwide permits and issues one new nationwide permit for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The final rule was published in the Federal Register today. The final rule is available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/27/2021-27441/reissuance-and-modification-of-nationwide-permits and the decision documents for these nationwide permits are available at www.regulations.gov (docket number COE-2020-0002)

After careful consideration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have rescinded the memorandum “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Process for Elevating and Coordinating Specific Draft Determinations under the Clean Water Act (CWA),” signed by EPA on June 26, 2020 and Army on June 30, 2020. The memorandum established a process by which the Corps and EPA (together, the agencies) intended to elevate to their headquarters for coordination certain case-specific and stand-alone CWA determinations under paragraph (a)(1) of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). The NWPR did not change the definition of traditional navigable waters and retained the agencies’ longstanding “guidance on determining whether a water is a ‘traditional navigable water’ for purposes of the Rapanos Guidance, the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the agencies’ CWA implementing regulations.” However, by establishing new procedures for one category of traditional navigable waters, the 2020 elevation memorandum created an unnecessary extra step for making traditional navigable waters determinations that the agencies have been making for many years. Therefore, the agencies are rescinding that memorandum, and retaining their legal memorandum on traditional navigable waters, which has remained unchanged since 2007. The legal memorandum, “Legal Definition of ‘Traditional Navigable Waters,’” can be found at https://www.epa.gov/wotus/legal-definition-traditional-navigable-waters.”

On October 21, 2021 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order vacating and remanding the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 regulations implementing Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  On November 18, 2021, after a temporary pause on permit decisions reliant on a Section 401 water quality certification or waiver completed under the vacated regulations, Corps districts resumed making decisions on all permit applications and requests for nationwide permit verifications.  As part of that decision making process, districts will coordinate with certifying authorities on water quality certifications that are potentially impacted by the vacatur order.

Additional information regarding the vacatur can be found on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/2020-clean-water-act-section-401-certification-rule  

On 18 November 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” This proposal marks a key milestone in the regulatory process announced in June of 2021. The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This familiar approach to “waters of the United States” would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.

In developing the proposed rule, EPA and the Army reviewed and considered the extensive feedback and recommendations the agencies received from states, tribes, local governments, and stakeholders throughout consultations and pre-proposal meetings and webinars.

The agencies’ press release for the 18 November 2021 announcement is available at https://www.epa.gov/wotus/revising-definition-waters-united-states .

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).

USACE announce today the publication in the Federal Register of the 2021 Nationwide Permits (NWPs) at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/13/2021-00102/reissuance-and-modification-of-nationwide-permits.  The 12 reissued and four new 2021 NWPs in the rule are necessary for work in streams, wetlands and other waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  These 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021 and will expire on March 14, 2026.  The 40 existing NWPs that were not reissued or modified by the January 13, 2021, final rule remain in effect. More information on NWPs can be found at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/National-Notices-and-Program-Initiatives/.

USACE announced today that it reissued 12 and issued four new nationwide permits for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. The pre-publication version of the final rule is available at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it has prepared its proposal to renew and revise 52 nationwide permits for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The proposal was published in the Federal Register today. The public comment period ends on November 16, 2020. The proposed rule is available through the Federal Register web site at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-17116/proposal-to-reissue-and-modify-nationwide-permits

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army have provided written notice to rescind the 2005 joint memorandum titled "Guidance on Conduction Wetland Determinations for the Food Security Act of 1985 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act".  This rescission is effective immediately. This rescission does not alter the roles or responsibilities of the Agencies under their respective statutory and regulatory authorities. The Agencies will continue their practice of informing landowners that wetland delineations (performed by the Corps) and determinations (performed by the NRCS) may not be valid for FSA or CWA requirements, respectively.  The Agencies intend to issue new guidance on this topic in the near future.

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.

https://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Regulatory-Division/Public-Notices/Article/1885474/special-public-notice/ 

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 https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/.

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 Department of the Army's Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the federal government. Initially, it served a 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the Regulatory Program, administers and enforces Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under RHA Section 10, a permit is required for work or structures in, over or under navigable waters of the United States. Under CWA Section 404, a 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' regulatory authority.

The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the Nation's aquatic resources and navigation capacity, 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.

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.

Examples of work activities that require a permit include, but are not limited to:

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

Our Goals

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.

49 Slough, a water of the U.S.

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

Contact Us

Click here to find the contact information for your county.  Please direct applications and questions to the e-mail address in your region.

Regulatory General Email:
CENWW-RD@usace.army.mil

Regulatory Division Main Line (Boise Office):
(208) 433-4464


We have field offices based in Boise, Idaho Falls and Coeur d'Alene.

Click the links below to find contact information for each field office, as well as to find which field office covers your region.

Click here for our field office contacts. 

Click here for our field office boundary map.