US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website Website

Due to the potential for extensive telework associated with the COVID-19 situation, please email all permit applications and questions electronically to PhiladelphiaDistrictRegulatory@usace.army.mil

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Philadelphia District Regulatory Branch

The Philadelphia District was established in 1866 to manage the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, and of the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey’s Manasquan Inlet to the southern boundary of Delaware. We serve more than nine million people across portions of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program began in 1890 with the responsibility of protecting and maintaining the nations navigable waterways. As a result of changing public needs and evolving policy via new laws and court decisions, protection has been extended to all waters of the United States, including many wetlands.

Contact the Regulator-of-the-Day at 215-656-6728 or email for general questions, permit status, or other requests. Click here for a full listing of staff contacts. 

 

Latest Guidance

  • 18 May 2020 - 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 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 here. State, regional, and national lists can also be downloaded from this site.
     
  • 21 April 2020 - EPA and Army Publish the Navigable Waters Protection Rule 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
  • 28 Jan 2020 - NRCS and Army rescind 2005 joint memorandum - the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army have provided written notice to rescind the 2005 joint memorandum titled "Guidance on Conduction Wetland Determinations for the Food Security Act of 1985 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act".  This rescission is effective immediately. This rescission does not alter the roles or responsibilities of the Agencies under their respective statutory and regulatory authorities. The Agencies will continue their practice of informing landowners that wetland delineations (performed by the Corps) and determinations (performed by the NRCS) may not be valid for FSA or CWA requirements, respectively.  The Agencies intend to issue new guidance on this topic in the near future.
        - written notice link: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll11/id/4288
     
  • 23 January 2020 - ​EPA and Army announce new rule defining waters of the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army today finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and clarifies the limits of federal control under the Clean Water Act. This rule and existing state, local, and tribal regulations and programs will provide a network of coverage for the nation’s water resources in accordance with the objective and policies of the Clean Water Act. The rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register in late February and will become effective 60-days following publication. The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the nation’s aquatic resources and navigable capacity while allowing economic development through fair and balanced decisions. More information on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule is available at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr
  • 23 December 2019 - Effective December 23, 2019 the EPA and Army will Implement the "Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules"
    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army published a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule (2015 Rule) and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" that existed prior to 2015.  The rule is available on the Federal Register.  The rule is effective on December 23, 2019.  The agencies will implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice.   More information.
    - Federal Register link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/22/2019-20550/definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states-recodification-of-pre-existing-rules
    - More info link: https://www.epa.gov/nwpr
     
  • 22 October 2019 - EPA and Army Publish Rule to Repeal 2015 "Waters of the U.S." Definition
    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have published a rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) that existed prior to 2015.  The rule is available on the Federal Register.  The rule will become effective on December 23, 2019.  On this date, the agencies will implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice.  More information.
    -Federal Register link : https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/22/2019-20550/definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states-recodification-of-pre-existing-rules
    -More information link: https://www.epa.gov/nwpr
     
  • 14 February 2019 - EPA and Army publish proposed revised "waters of the United States" definition - the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced today the publishing in the Federal Register of the proposed new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The publishing of the proposal and outreach efforts were delayed due to the lapse in appropriations for EPA. Today's notice begins a 60-day public comment period that will close on April 15, 2019. EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast on February 14, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on February 27-28, 2019. Information, including supporting analyses and fact sheets, are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule 
  • 7 January 2019 - EPA and Army Postpone Public Hearing on Proposed New "Waters of the United States" Definition Due to the lapse in appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA and the Department of the Army (Army) have postponed the planned January 23 public hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition until after appropriations have passed to fund the EPA. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is also postponed. Information on the status of the public hearing will be posted on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/epa-and-army-postpone-public-hearing-proposed-new-waters-united-states-definition 
  • 11 December 2018 - EPA and Army Propose New "Waters of the United States" Definition: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule."  The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019.  More information including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, the supporting analyses and fact sheets are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule