US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District Website Website

Regulatory Branch

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 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 in the Nation's waters, including wetlands.

Regulatory Announcement

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR):  Definition of “Waters of the United States” became effective on June 22, 2020 in 49 states and all US territories. A preliminary injunction has been granted for the state of Colorado.  Federal jurisdiction in Colorado will be determined using the 2019 Rule (the recodification of the 1986 Regulations) and associated 2003/2008 (SWANCC/Rapanos) guidance documents.  The NWPR establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.  The NWPR includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. 

The Federal Register notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/21/2020-02500/the-navigable-waters-protection-rule-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states.  Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is announcing the availability of the final 2018 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2018 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-18/pdf/2020-10630.pdf.

The NWPL provides plant species 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 May 18, 2020 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 http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/.  State, regional, and national lists can also be downloaded from this site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is announcing the availability of the final 2018 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2018 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-18/pdf/2020-10630.pdf.

The NWPL provides plant species 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 May 18, 2020 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 http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/.  State, regional, and national lists can also be downloaded from this site.

Beginning March 18, 2020, the USACE Omaha District’s Regulatory Branch began utilization of telework for all staff.  Telework will continue for an undetermined amount of time.  During this period Regulatory personnel will be working from home utilizing alternative technology to access work files and communicate via email.  Personnel have received guidance to evaluate risk involved with conducting local travel to perform site visits, and when asked to participate in interagency and applicant/consultant meetings.  They have also received direction to remain aware of and adhere to local/municipality and state proclamations regarding participation in gatherings and meetings and exercise flexibility in methods of participation for meetings that USACE normally hosts.

To ensure the continued delivery of the nation’s Regulatory Program, additional flexibility to standard requirements will be implemented.  Electronic submittals and signatures will be utilized when possible.  Also, virtual meeting capabilities, such as webinars or use of Skype, will be used in certain instances.   Applicants, resource agencies and the general public should continue to submit information via previously utilized methods such as mail, email and telephonic contact.  Please be aware that there will be limited to no personnel in any of the offices and the best form of contact at this time is via email.  We realize that this will impact all work products that are currently being evaluated by the Omaha District, but please understand that we are working to identify all strategies to make this impact minimal while doing our part to keep the public and our workforce safe.  This announcement will be periodically updated as procedures and strategies are identified and implemented as we work through these challenging times, so please check back regularly.

Please go to your respective state’s website for instructions on submitting documents electronically:

Colorado - Email: DenverRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil

Montana - Email: Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil

Nebraska - Email: NE404Reg@usace.army.mil

North Dakota - Email: CENWO-OD-RND@usace.army.mil

South Dakota - Email: SDRegulatoryMailbox@usace.army.mil

Wyoming - Email: Wyoming.Reg@usace.army.mil

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published the notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications.  The NWPs became effective on March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

Certain NWPs require project proponents to notify Corps district engineers of their proposed activities prior to conducting regulated activities, so that the district engineers can make case-specific determinations of NWP eligibility.  The notification takes the form of a pre-construction notification (PCN).  The purpose of a PCN is to give the district engineer an opportunity to review a proposed NWP activity (generally 45 days after receipt of a complete PCN) to ensure that the proposed activity qualifies for NWP authorization.  More information on when an activity requires a PCN can be found in the Federal Register Notice:

http://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Eng_Form_6082_2019Jun.pdf?ver=2019-10-09-111141-217

 

In some Corps districts, division engineers have imposed regional conditions on certain NWPs to help ensure that those NWP only authorize activities with no more than minimal adverse environmental effects in a particular region.  Those regional conditions may add PCN requirements to one or more NWPs.  Prospective permittees that want to use one or more NWPs to authorize their proposed activities should contact the appropriate Corps district or view its web page to determine if there are additional NWP activities that require PCNs on a regional basis.

To assist applicants in providing complete information needed for NWP evaluations, a PCN application form was created and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February of 2019.  The use of this form is strongly encouraged to assist Corps districts with a streamlined evaluation of an applicant’s proposal.  Having a complete application form will reduce the need for additional information requests and should reduce the amount of time it takes the district engineer to conclude his or her review.  Instructions on how to complete the PCN application form can be found at the end of the form.

Please note not all Corps Regulatory offices will use this form, as some districts have joint federal and state application reviews and use forms created specifically for that purpose.  Please refer to your local Corps district office webpage for more information on which form should be used.  A map to help you find your local Corps office website can be found at:

http://regulatory-ops.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

Information on the preferred form to use will be noted on the districts’ website.  The Corps can still accept information provided on other forms, however use of the PCN form for NWPs is strongly encouraged and will expedite the evaluation of your application.

The link to the ENG 6082 form has been updated and can be found at:  ENG 6082 Form download.

Regulatory News Releases

Corps seeks public comment on improvements to water treatment plant system in Lockwood, Montana
12/20/2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Omaha District is now accepting public comments for a proposal to improve the water distribution system for the Lockwood Water and Sewer District, Lockwood, Montana...
Notice of Availability of Draft EIS and Public Meeting for U.S. Highway 275 West Point to Scribner
12/13/2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Nebraska Regulatory Office will initiate a 45-day public comment period and hold a public meeting for the U.S. Highway 275 (US-275) West Point to...
Halligan Water Supply Project draft environmental impact statement published
11/22/2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has published in the federal register the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and conceptual mitigation plan for the Halligan Water Supply Project, a...
Corps finalizes the Adams & Denver Counties, Colorado General Investigation Study
7/30/2019
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General and 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, signed the recommended plan to implement flood risk management solutions along Weir...