US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District Website Website

Montana 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.

10 West 15th Street, Suite 2200 | Helena, MT | 59626 | Ph: 406-441-1375 | Fax: 406-441-1380
Post Office Box 7032 | Billings, MT | 59103 | Ph: 406-657-5910 | Fax: 406-657-5911
1600 North Ave. West, Suite 105 | Missoula, MT | 59801 | Ph: 406-541-4845 x323 | Fax: 406-541-4849

Email: Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil

Regulatory Announcement

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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 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 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 website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.

The Montana 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 Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil 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: Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil
    • 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 Montana Regulatory Office at 10 West 15th Street, Suite 2200, Helena, MT 59626-9705 . 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.

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:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2017-01-06/pdf/2016-31355.pdf

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.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Montana Regulatory Offices, through the Regulatory Program, administer and enforce Section 404 of the Clean Water Act in Montana for the Omaha District. 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.

Small Montana Regulatory Map