The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulates construction and other work in navigable waterways under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and has authority over the discharge of dredged or fill material into "waters of the United States" (a term which includes wetlands and all other aquatic areas) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Under these laws, those who seek to carry out such work must first receive a permit from USACE. The program considers the full public interest by balancing the favorable impacts against the detrimental impacts. This is known as the “public interest review.” The program reflects the national concerns for both the protection and utilization of important resources.
At the New England District, we have issued regional general permits for certain activities with no more than minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. These permits reduce delays and paperwork and allow USACE to devote its resources to the most significant cases. Activities not eligible for authorization under a general permit require an Individual Permit, in which case the permit evaluation process includes a public notice with a public comment period.
Project proponents are encouraged to contact USACE with questions at any time. Pre-application meetings are encouraged to facilitate the review of projects.
- Updated: Feb. 18, 2022