Regulatory

The Division has the responsibility for regulating and permitting work in the “Waters of the United States”, including wetlands, within the Great Lakes region and the Ohio River basin. The goals of the regulatory program are to protect the aquatic environment, efficiently manage the permitting process, and ensure fair and reasonable decisions for the public. In pursuit of those goals, the Division issues more than 10,000 permits annually.

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Suzanne Chubb
Regulatory Program Manager
(513) 684-7261

Regulatory Program

Regulatory Program  

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 and navigation capacity, while allowing reasonable development through fair and balanced decisions.  The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the Nation's waters, including wetlands.

The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division has the responsibility for regulating and permitting work in the “Waters of the United States”, including wetlands, within the Great Lakes region and the Ohio River basin. The goals of the regulatory program are to protect the aquatic environment, efficiently manage the permitting process, and ensure fair and reasonable decisions for the public. In pursuit of those goals, the Division issues more than 10,000 permits annually.

Navigable Water Protection Rule vacatur

Regulatory Permits

There are three major U.S. Army Corps of Engineer authorities that establish permit requirements:

  • Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, without a Department of the Army permit.
  • Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 prohibits the obstruction or alteration of navigable waters of the United Sates without a Department of the Army permit.
  • Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 prohibits the transportation of dredged material for ocean dumping without a Department of the Army permit.

Regulatory responsibilities within the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division are carried out by seven Districts. Applicants may appeal standard permit denials and permit conditions, and jurisdictional determinations under an administrative appeal process managed by the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.

Find Your Regulatory Office

Find the Corps Regulatory Office for your address with the USACE Regulatory Boundaries Map.

Administrative Appeals for Corps' Decisions

The Corps of Engineers has an administrative appeal process that enables an affected party to appeal certain Corps decisions with which they disagree while potentially avoiding the cost/delay of court litigation. Decisions which can be appealed include denied individual permits, proffered individual permits, and approved jurisdictional determinations.

These appealable decisions are most commonly made by Corps district offices, and requests for appeal of such decisions are submitted to the next higher authority, most commonly the Corps division offices. It is the policy of the Corps of Engineers to promote and maintain an administrative appeal process that is independent, objective, fair, prompt, and efficient.

Requests for appeal must be received by the division office within 60 days of the date of the appealable decision. Where an appeal is accepted, a site visit and/or an appeal conference or meeting may be conducted. The division engineer will make a determination on the merits of the appeal based on a review of the district’s administrative record, and either confirm the district’s initial decision or remand the decision to the district for reconsideration. The division engineer will make a final decision on the merits of the appeal at the earliest practicable time.