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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

Email: CENWW-RD@usace.army.mil

Phone: (208) 433-4464

Click here for our office boundary map. 


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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 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. 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: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.

7 January 2019 - EPA and Army Postpone Public Hearing on Proposed New "Waters of the United States" Definition.  Due to the lapse in appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA and the Department of the Army (Army) have postponed the planned January 23 public hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition until after appropriations have passed to fund the EPA.  Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is also postponed.  Information on the status of the public hearing will be posted on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/epa-and-army-postpone-public-hearing-proposed-new-waters-united-states-definition.

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