Regulatory Announcement

 15 May 2024 – Permit applications are now available in RRS!

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, OMAHA DISTRICT, REGULATORY BRANCH

USACE is pleased to announce that the new national online application portal and management platform, known as the Regulatory Request System (RRS) now includes an electronic submission option for permit applications. This platform has been introduced to modernize our permit application process and to address our users' expectations by providing a straightforward and transparent process for the submittal of permit requests.

RRS is a web-based platform currently in a beta version that enables users to submit pre-application meeting requests, jurisdictional determination requests, and new applications for individual and general permits. This new system aims to streamline the process, improve efficiency, and provide a more user-friendly experience for our applicants.     

All six states in the Omaha District, which includes the northeastern quarter of Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, are accepting RRS electronic submissions. Please note that in the state of Montana, the RRS joint permit application (JPA) process will not be available on May 15th.  The Montana Regulatory Offices will be flexible with incoming applications submitted in the RRS and continue to coordinate with state and federal counterparts to minimize the burden on applicants. The external JPA form for Montana’s resources is still available online; for further information regarding this JPA, please visit: https://dnrc.mt.gov/Licenses-and-Permits/Stream-Permitting/.

We believe that RRS will not only benefit our users by simplifying the application process but will also enhance our ability to effectively manage and review permit requests. We are confident that this modernization initiative will lead to improved customer satisfaction and greater overall efficiency within our Regulatory Program.

We encourage users to explore and utilize the new Regulatory Request System to take advantage of its benefits and features. Visit rrs.usace.army.mil today!

For additional information on or to provide feedback on RRS, please contact us using the following email: rrs@usace.army.mil

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: rrs.usace.army.mil
For additional information on or to provide feedback on RRS, please contact the rrs@usace.army.mil. rrs@usace.army.mil

 

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: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list

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 https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

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

HQUSACE REGULATORY

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 usace.ohwm@usace.army.mil.

 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: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/

Omaha District Information: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory-Program/Nation-Wide-Permit-Information/

Any questions can be submitted to the following contact information

Email: OmahaRegFS@usace.army.mil

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

 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.

Apply for Permits, Jurisdictional Determinations and other Requests

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 The Montana Regulatory Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Omaha District has transitioned to digital applications.  If it is necessary to provide a hard copy of the application materials, and/or any subsequent material, a digital copy must also be provided for the digital record.

All electronic applications and requests must be sent to Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil

To expedite your request, please include the following information in the body of the email:

  1. Project name
  2. Applicant/Requestor/Client Contact Information (Name, Address, Phone, Email)
  3. Latitude and Longitude (in decimal degrees) of the project area
  4. Location description (Address or Cross Streets, City, County, State)
  5. Type of Request (Jurisdictional Determination, Pre-application Meeting, Regional / Nationwide / Individual Permit, Letter of No Objection / No Permit Required Letter, etc.)
  6. Is this request related to any previous Army Corps reviews?  If so, please provide the Army Corps file number for that review (i.e., NWO-2000-00000).

Attach contents of requests to email:

  1. The preferred document file format is Adobe PDF (.pdf).  We will also accept Word documents in .docx format. The Aquatic Resource/Consolidated Upload Excel spreadsheet must be submitted in .xlsm spreadsheet format.
  2. Digital documents must have sufficient resolution to depict project details.  In order to have the highest quality documents, please convert original digital documents to PDF.  All forms that require signature must be digitally signed or signed manually, scanned and then transmitted electronically.
  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.

To facilitate sending large file sizes (greater than 10MB):

  1. Use .zip files as attachments. Combine multiple files into a .zip file to compress file size prior to adding as an email attachment.
  2. Send multiple emails. Label each email with same subject line and indicate number of emails. For example:
    • Smith Subdivision Application (1 of 2)
    • Smith Subdivision Application (2 of 2)
  3. For submittals greater than 10MB and less than 8GB, please use the DoD SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange) https://safe.apps.mil/ .  Please contact us at Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil for an access code.

For those who want to submit a paper copy, please send the application package to the address below and include a copy of the entire application package on a CD/DVD.  Please note that we are unable to accept flash drives.

US Army Corps of Engineers
Montana Regulatory Office
100 Neill Ave
Helena, MT 59601-3329

To learn more about the Regulatory Request System, watch this video: USACE RRS Promo 90-sec (youtube.com)

 

Click below to access the Regulatory Request System.

Flood Impacts

Due to the extensive damage caused by the current flooding across the state and our current staffing shortage, we are prioritizing emergency permitting actions at this time. Non-emergency Department of the Army (DA) permit applications and requests associated with pending DA permit applications will be processed as our workload allows but may experience extended processing delays. Jurisdictional Determination (JD) requests and/or Delineation Concurrences (DCs) will still be accepted by the Montana Regulatory Office, but the review and processing of such standalone requests will be based on available resources, likely resulting in extended timelines for these requests to be fully processed.

Flood Response Information

FEMA Montana Severe Storm and Flooding DR-4655-MT

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.
 

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.

100 Neill Avenue | Helena, MT | 59601-3329 | 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

Small Montana Regulatory Map

Montana Information and Agency Links

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 Agencies and Organizations
 General Stream Information
 Special Stream Areas
 Watersheds
 Functional Assessments
 General Wetland Information and Guidance