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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USACE announces the launch of its new Regulatory Request System (RRS). RRS is designed to make the review of permit requests a transparent and efficient process for the public. RRS, currently in a beta version, provides general information on the Regulatory Program and allows the public to submit pre-application meeting requests and jurisdictional determination requests. 
Additional capability is scheduled in Spring 2024. This added capability will allow users the ability to electronically submit individual and general permit applications and other necessary information, saving time and reducing the need for paper-based submissions.
RRS will streamline the permit application process and underscores USACE commitment to modernizing our application process, meeting user expectations, and providing a transparent, straightforward process for the timely review of permit requests. 
Stay tuned for further updates on the full release of the RRS. Please click on the following link to access RRS:
For additional information on or to provide feedback on RRS, please contact the

 January  5, 2022 – Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacatur

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.


February 25, 2022  - 2021 Nationwide Permits

The 2021 Nationwide Permits (NWP) were published in the Federal Register January 13, 2021 and December 27, 2021. The January 13, 2021 Federal Register notice modified NWPs 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, and 52; and adding NWPs 55, 56, 57, and 58; with an effective date of March 15, 2021. The December 27, 2021 Federal Register notice reissued NWP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 45, 46, 49, 53, and 54; and added NWP 59; with an effective date of February 25, 2022. For more information about the 2021 NWPs please go to the following links:

National Information:

Omaha District Information:

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

30 December 2022 - EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections


Published Jan. 3, 2023

 December 1, 2022 – Release of the Interim Draft of the National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and EPA (the Agencies) jointly announce the availability of the Interim Draft of the National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams (National OHWM Manual) and its accompanying data sheet. The Interim Draft National OHWM Manual provides draft technical guidance for identifying and delineating the OHWM using a scientifically supported, rapid framework. The Agencies are requesting comments and feedback from the public and practitioners on the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual via the public notice linked below. Following the public comment period and additional field testing, comments and feedback received from the public and practitioners will be utilized to further refine the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual for clarity, consistency, and technical accuracy. The one-year testing and comment period ends on December 1, 2023. A final version of the National OHWM Manual is anticipated to be published during 2024.

During the period while the OHWM Manual is an interim draft, OHWM identification and/or delineation for official USACE Regulatory purposes should continue in accordance with the applicable OHWM definition in the Federal regulations, Regulatory Guidance Letter 05-05, and any applicable USACE district policies. However, USACE Regulatory staff are encouraged to test the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual and provide comments and feedback by emailing

 November 2, 2021 - 2020 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL)

2 November 2021 - 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:

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 (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

 Maintenance and Construction of Irrigation Ditches Memorandum

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

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

Apply for Permits, Jurisdictional Determinations and other Requests

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 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 40MB, please request an upload link or use one of the methods below.
  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.
 Jurisdictional Determination Request

If you would like to request a jurisdictional determination only, please complete and submit this form JD Request Form.  Along with the form, submit a wetlands and other waters delineation of the site and clearly indicate on drawings the area within which you are requesting a review.  Delineations need to be less than five years old and follow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (and any related supplements).

Colorado Regulatory Offices

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Denver Office

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


Durango Office (SPA)

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

Durango Office email:


Grand Junction Office (SPA)

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


Pueblo Office (SPA)

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

Colorado Information and Agency Links