Denver Regulatory Office

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.

9307 South Wadsworth Blvd | Littleton | Colorado | 80128-6901 | Ph: 303-979-4120 | Fax: 303-979-0602


Regulatory Announcement

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a memorandum to the field regarding application of the exemptions under Section 404(f)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and for the maintenance of drainage ditches.  For purposes of implementing the ditch exemptions, the memo defines terms including “irrigation ditch” and “drainage ditch” and provides a framework for determining the applicability of the ditch exemptions and the recapture provision in CWA Section 404(f)(2).  The memorandum provides a clear, consistent approach regarding the application of the exemptions, superseding prior national guidance.  

Ditch Memo Fact Sheet March 2021

Proposed RGP 5 – Ditch Related Activities in the State of Colorado

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 2744) announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and four new NWPs (NWP 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, 52, 55, 56, 57, and 58) as well as the reissuance of NWP general conditions and definitions with some modifications. The Northwestern Division Engineer approved the Omaha District regional conditions on February 23, 2021. These 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021 and will expire on March 14, 2026. For more information about the 2021 NWPs please go to the following links:

National Information:

Omaha District Information:

Omaha District Pre-recorded Outreach Presentation:

Any questions can be submitted to the following contact information


Mail: Omaha District, USACE Attn: Regulatory Branch, Field Support Section 1616 Capitol Ave., Ste. 9000 Omaha, NE 68102

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  Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA’s website at

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:

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  State, regional, and national lists can also be downloaded from this site.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register. This final rule establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. The final rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. The published version is 93 pages, and the citation is: 85 FR 22250.  The Federal Register notice is available at Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA website at

The Denver Regulatory Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Omaha District has been working to be more responsive to the needs of the public. For the Regulatory Program, we know there is great interest in having us accept information associated with aquatic resource delineation verifications, permit applications, and other requests in a digital format, instead of paper. To that end, we have created a process for the public to submit their request electronically. This new process is easy to access, ensures timely delivery, and comports with Army and Department of Defense (DoD) requirements.

Effective immediately, we are asking that all new requests be submitted in digital form, which will eliminate any need to send a paper copy.

If you are submitting information associated with a new request, such as a permit application or request to verify an aquatic resources delineation, please submit it to for initial in-processing. (NOTE: Emails including attachments cannot exceed 40Mb).

If you require assistance with an active request, we encourage you to send digital files directly to the project manager assigned to the action. If you do not know who is assigned to your action, please send your request to our general email box.

We will continue to accept paper copies of your requests if you are unable to submit them electronically.

We ask the public to submit their requests for jurisdictional determinations, permit applications, and other associated documents in digital form. This will eliminate the requirement for the public to send documents in paper form to the Corps and for the Corps to save those documents in paper form.

Contents of requests:

  1. The preferred document file format is .pdf. We will also accept Word documents in .docx format.
  2. The Aquatic Resource/Consolidated Upload Excel spreadsheet must be submitted in .xlsm spreadsheet format.
  3. If transmitting via email, include all information as email attachments, and avoid transmitting information in the body of the email.
  4. All documents (aquatic resource delineations, permit applications, endangered species biological assessment, historic properties reports, etc.) must be submitted as separate files. DO NOT combine all documents into one Adobe PDF or Word document file.
  5. Name files based on their content. Please do not use company project numbers or acronyms as the sole basis for the file name(s).
  6. Reduce file sizes to the maximum extent possible.

Submitting requests:

There are multiple options for submitting your request to the Corps (in order of preference):

  1. Submit via email. Our preferred method of electronic file submittal is via email.
    • Initial requests that have not been assigned a project manager and Corps project number should be sent to the Corps general email inbox:
      • NOTE: Add to the Email Subject line the name of the applicant, name of the project, and name of the county in which the project is proposed.
    • Once a project has been assigned, documents should be emailed directly to the Corps Project Manager
      • NOTE: Add to the Email Subject line the Corps project number, name of the applicant, name of the project, and name of the county in which the project is proposed.
    • The Corps file limit is 40 MB for individual emails. If your email would exceed 40 MB you can use one of the following methods.
  2. Send a short cover letter and CD with all required information to the Denver Regulatory Office at 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80128-6901. DO NOT SEND A USB STICK. The Corps cannot connect USB sticks to our computers.
  3. Mail a hard copy. We will continue to accept paper copies of your requests if you are unable to submit them electronically.

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 water supply project located in Larimer County, Colorado, proposed by the City of Fort Collins Utilities.  

The Corps is evaluating an application and conceptual mitigation plan from Fort Collins for a Department of the Army permit for the Halligan Project and prepared the Draft EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to provide decision-makers and the public with information pertaining to the Halligan Project and disclose environmental impacts of the alternatives.  It also provides information for local and state agencies having jurisdictional responsibility for affected resources.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VIII, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Larimer County participated as cooperating agencies in the development of the Draft EIS.  The Corps is neither a proponent nor an opponent of the proposed project.  

Fort Collins proposes to enlarge the existing Halligan Reservoir located about 25 miles northwest of Fort Collins on the North Fork of the Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado.  Fort Collins proposes to raise Halligan Dam by 25.4 feet to enlarge Halligan Reservoir from its current capacity of 6,400 acre-feet to approximately 14,525 acre-feet to provide about 7,900 acre-feet of additional annual firm yield to meet Fort Collins’ projected 2065 municipal and industrial water demands.  The existing reservoir surface area is approximately 253 acres; the proposed enlargement would result in a surface area of approximately 386 acres.

Halligan Dam is a concrete arch dam built more than 100 years ago and will require rehabilitation in the near future to address safety risks.  These safety risks would be addressed by Fort Collins under their proposed action during enlargement of the dam.  Under the project alternatives, ownership of the dam and responsibility for rehabilitation would revert to the North Poudre Irrigation Company.

Under Fort Collins’ proposed action, Halligan Reservoir would continue to be filled with direct flows from the North Fork.  Releases would be made to the North Fork downstream of the dam and would flow through Seaman Reservoir to the confluence with the Cache la Poudre River.  From there, water would be exchanged up to Fort Collins’ intake or to the Monroe Canal intake and delivered to Fort Collins’ water treatment facility through the Pleasant Valley Pipeline.  

Under the proposed action, Fort Collins would maintain a minimum flow of five cubic feet per second in the North Fork from May 1 to September 30, a minimum flow of three cubic feet per second the remainder of the year, and forego all diversions to the enlarged Halligan Reservoir for the three days that coincide with the forecasted peak runoff flow event for the North Fork.

The Draft EIS also evaluates the effects of several alternatives to Fort Collins’ proposed action, including the No-Action Alternative, the Expanded Glade Alternative, the Gravel Pits Alternative, and the Agricultural Reservoirs Alternative.

The Corps’ decision on whether or not to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed project and its alternatives on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and use of important resources.  The benefits that may reasonably be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against the reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors that may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, wetlands, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  

The Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation plan are available for review on our website at:

Printed copies of the Draft EIS are available for review at the following libraries and offices:

  • Colorado State University Morgan Library, 1201 Center Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
  • Poudre River Public Library District-Old Town Library, 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
  • Poudre River Public Library-Harmony Library, 4616 South Shields Street, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
  • University of Northern Colorado, James A. Michener Library, 14th Avenue and 20th Street, Greeley, Colorado 80639
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80128

The Corps is soliciting written comments on the Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation planfrom the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Native American Tribes; and other interested parties.  

On January 13, 2020, the Corps is holding a public hearing regarding the Department of the Army Permit application and Draft EIS for the Halligan Project. The public hearing will be at the Drake Centre at 802 West Drake Road in Fort Collins, Colorado.  From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., the public may view various posters on the issues and ask questions of representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, their contractors, and Fort Collins.  From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., public officials or individuals wishing to make a public statement to the Corps will be given three minutes each to speak.

All written comments on the Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation plan must be submitted to the mailing address listed below or to email address by January 26, 2020. Additional information about the application, Draft EIS, or conceptual mitigation plan may be obtained by contacting Mr. Cody Wheeler, Regulatory Project Manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80128; at telephone 720-922-3846; or via email at

Colorado Regulatory Offices

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Omaha District
9307 South Wadsworth Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80128
(303) 979-4120

Colorado West Regulatory Branch
Albuquerque District
1970 East 3rd Avenue, Suite 109
Durango, CO 81301-5025
(970) 259-1764

Durango Office email:

Albuquerque District
400 Rood Avenue, Room 224
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 243-1199

Southern Colorado Regulatory Office
Albuquerque District
201 West 8th Street, Suite 350
Pueblo, CO 81003
(719) 543-9459



The US Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, through the Regulatory Program, administers and enforces Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the Omaha District portion of Colorado (See map below). 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.

Colorado Regulatory News

Regulatory Contacts