The Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program

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.


The Corps Regulatory Mission

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



Regulatory Program Goals

These goals guide SPD Districts as they conduct day to day regulatory business.

  • To provide strong protection of the Nation's aquatic environment, including wetlands.
  • To enhance the efficiency of the Corps administration of its regulatory program.
  • To ensure that the Corps provides the regulated public with fair and reasonable decisions.



Public Notices and References

The South Pacific Division  ensures that the Regulatory program operates consistently across the region in its four subordinate districts, Albuquerque District, Los Angeles District, Sacramento District, and San Francisco District.  To that end, the South Pacific Division develops guidance, templates, procedures, and processes that are to be used by its four subordinate districts in administering the Regulatory Program.  Those documents are located on South Pacific Division's Public Notices and References page.


Administrative Appeals

The South Pacific Division administers the administrative appeal program for approved jurisdictional determinations and permit decisions made by the Albuquerque District, Los Angeles District, Sacramento District, and San Francisco District.  Appeals currently in progress, as well as past appeal decisions, are listed in the Table of Appeals.

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacatur

On August 29, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (the agencies) issued a final rule to amend the final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule, published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2023. This final rule conforms the definition of “waters of the United States” to the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 25, 2023, decision in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. Parts of the January 2023 Rule are invalid under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act in the Sackett decision. Therefore, the agencies have amended key aspects of the regulatory text to conform it to the Court’s decision. The conforming rule, "Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'; Conforming," published in the Federal Register and became effective today 8 September 2023.  Read More.

Regulatory Boundaries

Each District in the South Pacific Division administers the Regulatory Program within its area of responsibility.  District areas of responsibility, along with locations and contact information for each District office and its associated field offices, are shown on the map below. 

SPD Regulatory Boundaries and Offices (Click on features for more information)