An aerial view of Lake Cumberland

Regulatory

Regulatory Program - Illinois

Published Jan. 17, 2024
Updated: Feb. 1, 2024

We are diligently working to process your requests. We work on a first come-first served basis.  Our target response time for most small projects is 60 days from when we receive a complete application.  Larger projects are likely to require a longer review. Currently, we are facing some challenges including:

High submittal of requests: We are currently receiving a very high number of applications and jurisdictional determination requests, which has caused a longer response time for the Regulatory staff. Increased requests are a result of fluctuating lake levels in the Great Lakes, green energy initiatives (e.g. solar and wind development), increased commercial/residential development, recent regulation changes, and other factors.

Recent regulation changes: There have been several substantial regulation changes in the past 12-18 months, which have required significant time for staff to be trained and for certain regulatory processes to be modified. These process changes have resulted in additional workload/staff time, which has also resulted in a longer response time for Regulatory staff.

Please note that early coordination makes the process easier for you! By contacting the Corps of Engineers early in your planning, we can help guide you and understand your project’s needs and identify potential challenges. This will help us to work towards the appropriate authorization in as timely a manner as possible. Pre-application meetings are encouraged, particularly for larger projects.

We appreciate your patience and understanding, as we work through these challenges to help you get the authorization you need to complete your project.


The Chicago 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.  In order to have the highest quality documents, we prefer that the original digital documents be converted to PDF as opposed to the documents being printed and then scanned. 

All electronic applications must be sent to ChicagoRequests@usace.army.mil.  Please do not send it directly to a project manager.  For submittals greater than 10MB and less than 8GB, only attach a copy of the application form and location map.  After you receive an email with your project number and your assigned project manager, coordinate directly with the assigned project manager to transmit the full application.  The assigned project manager will provide you with an access code to upload documents to the DoD SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange) file share site.  Please only send one project per email.

The following information must be included in the body of the email:  

  1. Is this request related to any previous Army Corps reviews?  If so, please provide the Army Corps file number for that review.
  2. Project name;
  3. Contact information of the applicant.  This should always include an individual's name, company (if applicable), address, telephone number, and an e-mail address.  Please note that the applicant is not the consultant, contractor, nor the engineering firm.  Normally the applicant is the property owner, or a utility or transportation agency.
  4. Latitude and Longitude (in decimal degrees) of the project area;
  5. Location description (Address or Cross Streets, City, County, State)
  6. Type of Request (Jurisdictional Determination, Pre-application Consultation, Regional / Nationwide / Individual Permit, No Permit Required Letter, etc)

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 – Regulatory Branch
231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60604


 

If you would like to schedule a pre-application consultation, we need you to supply the following information:

  • Project name
  • Contact information of the applicant.  This should always include an individual's name, company (if applicable), address, telephone number, and an e-mail address.  Please note that the applicant is not the consultant, contractor, nor the engineering firm.  Normally the applicant is the property owner, or a utility or transportation agency.
  • Project location:  Address, City, County, and Latitude and Longitude in Decimal Degrees (i.e. 41.87856, -87.631612).
  • Project location map
  • A project narrative and supporting documentation for project

Please do not send this directly to a project manager.  Send all electronic pre-application meeting requests to:  ChicagoRequests@usace.army.mil

If you are unable to send a digital copy, you can mail a paper copy to:

USACE Regulatory Branch
231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60604

 

Your project will then be assigned a number and a project manager, and you will receive an e-mail with this information.

 

Thank you for your assistance.

 

 

Does your project fit in with the following scenario?: "I don't plan on impacting any wetlands, streams, ponds, or other water bodies, but in order to get a construction permit, or disaster recovery grant, I need a letter from your office."

That letter from our office is called a No Permit Required Letter, which was formerly referred to as a Letter of No Objection. The county or municipality simply wants to make sure that you aren't violating the Clean Water Act before they issue you a local permit for your project.

A NPR Letter may be requested in three situations:

  1. If no impacts to aquatic resources will occur as a result of a proposed action;
  2. If impacts will occur to aquatic resources and an Approved Jurisdictional Determination has been issued indicating that the water in question is not regulated under the Clean Water Act or under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899;
  3. The activity you are proposing meets one of the exemptions spelled out in 33 CFR part 323.4.

The following information is typically necessary in order to process a NPR request:

  1. A completed No Permit Required Request Form (formerly known as Letter of No Objection Request Form);
    1. As we address our letters to people, please always include the name of the person who is the applicant
  2. A cover letter describing your proposed activity and why you believe it does not need a permit;
  3. A property location map;
  4. A copy of your plat of survey with the proposed location of any existing and new infrastructure, buildings, driveways, etc;
  5. A grading plan and wetland delineation (may be waived at the discretion of the project manager)

Submit your request to ChicagoRequests@usace.army.mil

Please only send one project per email.

Note that the Chicago District has transitioned to digital applications and encourages all submittals via email.   If you are unable to apply electronically, a paper copy can be sent to the address below with 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 – Regulatory Branch
231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Please be aware that any unpermitted discharge into an area within the jurisdiction of this office may result in civil or criminal enforcement under the Clean Water Act or under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1319.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, has established the Shoreline Activities Regional General Permit (Shoreline RGP) for activities located within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties, Illinois, effective April 1, 2022. The Shoreline RGP authorizes a group of activities which would have minimal individual and cumulative impacts on aquatic resources. The purpose of the Shoreline RGP is to provide a simplified and expeditious means for review of activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act that meet the specified terms and conditions of the permit.

For more information regarding the Shoreline RGP, please select the link below:

 Activities covered under the Shoreline RGP include the following:

  1. Installation, repair, modification, and removal of permanent and seasonal piers/docks, boat hoists, and lifts;
  2. Maintenance dredging for navigational access to existing facilities; and
  3. Expansion and construction of commercial maritime facilities and associated dredging.

Note: Many single-user, private piers that meet the conditions of the Shoreline RGP do not need to submit notification to this office prior to undertaking the activity.

For Activity 1, the following notification requirements apply: The permittee must submit a PCN to this office prior to commencing the activity if: (1) the construction is a pier/dock exceeding 50 feet in length; (2) the construction (pier) is on the Fox River/Chain-O-Lakes and defined as a multi-user facility under the May 12, 2000 Fox River-Chain O’Lakes Boat Pier and Boat Ramp Application Review Policy (Pier Policy).

 Application packages can be sent to ChicagoRequests@usace.army.mil.  Please do not send directly to a project manager. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, has established the Lake Michigan Regional General Permit (LMRGP) for activities located within Lake Michigan in Cook and Lake Counties, Illinois, effective October 1, 2020. The LMRGP authorizes a group of activities which would have minimal individual and cumulative impacts on aquatic resources. The purpose of the LMRGP is to provide a simplified and expeditious means for review of activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act that meet the specified terms and conditions of the permit.

For more information regarding the Lake Michigan Regional General Permit, please select the link below:

 

Activities covered under the LMRGP include the following:

  1. Installation, repair, and modification of permanent and seasonal piers/docks, boat ramps, boat hoists, and lifts;
  2. Navigational and mooring aids;
  3. Temporary recreational structures;
  4. Installation, repair, and modification of shore protection;
  5. Beach nourishment;
  6. Maintenance of existing public harbors, public access facilities, and navigational features required for maintaining existing function;
  7. In-water discharge of dredged material, including beneficial use of dredged material for beach nourishment, shore protection, or ecosystem restoration;
  8. Temporary structures and minor discharges of dredged or fill material necessary for the removal of vessels (wrecked, abandoned, or disabled) or for the removal of man-made obstructions to navigation.

NOTE: Several of the activities covered under the LMRGP may qualify under other permits.  The LMRGP contains additional general and special conditions.  Therefore, it is the decision of this office that for activities that could be authorized under other permits, the LMRGP is to be used.

Application packages can be sent to ChicagoRequests@usace.army.mil. Please do not send directly to a project manager. 

Starting on February 25, 2022, the Chicago District adopted the Nationwide Permit (NWP) Program in its entirety and transitioned out of the Illinois Regional Permit Program when it expired on April 1, 2022.  The Regional Permit Program will not be renewed.  

The NWP Program is an integral part of the Corps Regulatory Program and is designed to provide effective protection for wetlands and other aquatic resources while being administratively efficient. The NWPs include specific project limitations and conditions to ensure that adverse environmental effects are no more than minimal and that the aquatic environment is protected. If a permit applicant designs a project to meet these limitations and conditions, the Corps can provide a simplified and expedited review. We encourage permit applicants to consider the advantages of designing projects that meet the terms and conditions of the NWP program.

Nationwide Permits Program

If you have a project that does not meet the conditions of any of the General Permits, such as nationwide or regional permits, please contact our office to discuss this project with one of our regulators. 

A project that does not qualify for general permit or letter of permission authorization is to be reviewed through the individual permit process (see 33 CFR 325.5(b)(1)), which includes a public notice, public interest review, environmental documentation, and, if applicable, a Section 404 (b)(1) Guidelines compliance analysis.

Refer to 33 CFR 325.1(d)(1)-(10) for a full description of the information needed for a complete individual permit application. The following are tips on what to include in your submission for issuance of the public notice and to help expedite the review of your project.

 

Information Required for Public Notice Issuance

  1.  Application Form

  • Illinois: (right click to download form to fill it out). All sections of the application form should be completed, and the form should be signed.

  2.  Project Narrative

For issuance of the public notice, provide a brief description of the proposed activity and its purpose and intended use so as to provide sufficient information concerning the nature of the activity to generate meaningful comments. We recommend discussing your statement of purpose and need with your assigned Corps Project Manager.
 
In order to fully complete the permit review, the project narrative should be detailed and describe all the work to be performed, a clear project purpose and need statement, and explain how avoidance and minimization of temporary impacts and permanent losses of waters of the United States were achieved on the project site (i.e. site redesign, reduction in scope, alternate methods, etc.). The project narrative should include a description of the proposed construction practices that would be implemented to perform the proposed work and a description of the reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect effects to waters of the United States from the proposed construction practices.

  3.  Project Location Map

The map should provide the location of the entire project site and include latitude and longitude in decimal degrees format of the center point of your project boundary.

  4.  Drawings

Drawings, including plan and cross-section views, should clearly depict the location, size and dimensions of the proposed activity, as well as the location of delineated waters of the U.S. on the site. The drawings should contain a title block, legend and scale, amount (in cubic yards) and area (in acres) of fill in Corps jurisdiction, including both permanent and temporary fills/structures.

The amount of details provided in the drawings should be commensurate with the type of project being submitted. For more complex projects, the plans must include grading contours, proposed and existing structures such as buildings footprints, roadways, road crossings, stormwater management facilities, utilities, construction access areas and details of water conveyance structures.

  5. Compensatory Mitigation Statement

A statement describing how impacts to waters of the United States are to be compensated for or a statement explaining why compensatory mitigation should not be required for the proposed impacts (See 332.4(b)(1).) Mitigation conceptual plans submitted with the application must include the following information at a minimum: proposed compensation type (bank or in-lieu fee credit, restoration, creation, preservation, etc.), location and brief discussion on factors considered for site selection (i.e., soils, water source, potential for invasive species, etc.), amount proposed per resource type and a discussion of how the proposal will compensate for aquatic resource functions and services lost as a result of the project.

  6.  Mailing Labels

Labels with adjoining property owners names, "OR CURRENT RESIDENT", and addresses must be included as part of your submittal. Labels must be prepared using all CAPITAL LETTERS. 

 

Additional Information Needed to Complete the Review Process

Although not required for issuance of the public notice, we encourage providing the following information early in the review process. If provided with the application, brief summaries of this information will be included in the public notice to facilitate public and agency review of the proposed work. This information will be needed for a complete review of your application and the public interest review:

  1.  Alternative Analysis

An alternatives analysis under the 404(b)(1) Guidelines. The 404(b)(1) Guidelines state that an alternative is practicable if it is available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes (40 CFR 230.10(a)(2)). 

  2.  Detailed Mitigation Proposal

All mitigation projects must comply with the Federal Regulations on compensatory mitigation (33 CFR 332) entitled “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources: Final Rule”, dated April 10, 2008. Although a conceptual mitigation plan may be sufficient for the purposes of the public notice, a detailed mitigation plan must be approved by the Corps before any jurisdictional work may occur on the project site.

  3.  Delineation of Waters of the U.S.

including wetlands and streams, for the project area, and for areas adjacent to the project site (off-site wetlands must be identified through the use of reference materials including review of local wetland inventories, soil surveys, and the most recent available aerial photography), must be prepared in accordance with the current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers methodology. For sites supporting wetlands, the delineation should include a Floristic Quality Assessment (Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis. Wilhelm and Rericha, 2017). This information is needed to evaluate the habitat quality, which in turn helps evaluate whether that habitat might support threatened and endangered species.
 

  4.  Color Photographs

The photos should be sufficient to accurately portray the project site, keyed to a location map and not taken when snow cover is present.

  5.  SESC Plan

A description of proposed soil erosion and sediment control (SESC) plans that identify all SESC measures to be utilized during construction of the project. If none are proposed, the application must provide a description of why their use is not practicable or necessary.

For projects located in Illinois: The Corps currently has an Interagency Coordination Agreement (ICA) with the local Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD's) and with Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC) to review SESC plans that are submitted to this office for permit issuance. This additional review is not required for all projects, so during the review of your application, your Project Manager will notify you if approval of your SESC plan from the applicable office is required. 
 

  6.  Historic or Cultural Resources

  1. The permit review will evaluate impacts for any activity which may have the potential to cause effects to any historic properties* listed, determined to be eligible for listing on, or potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Applications should include the following:
    • A written statement indicating if any such properties may be affected by the proposed project.
    • A copy of any completed archaeology or building/structure survey reports, if available. If a survey has not been performed, the statement shall include a list of resources checked in the determination.
    • Copies of any pertinent correspondence documenting compliance. Be sure to inform the SHPO that the information provided is associated with a Corps permit review.
      1. State of Illinois: Initial documentation required for the Illinois State Historic Preservation Officer (ILSHPO) is located here: https://dnrhistoric.illinois.gov/preserve/resource-protection.html . The Historic and Architectural Resources Geographic Information System (HARGIS) is the public portal to Illinois’ historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts. This database contains properties that have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, determined eligible for listing, or surveyed without a determination.
      2. State of Indiana: The applicant may obtain a letter from the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology indicating whether your project is in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. 

Copies of any available correspondence from federally recognized Indian Nations regarding historic properties that may be affected by the project.

  7.  Endangered Species and Essential Fish Habitat

The permit review will evaluate if any listed species (or species proposed for listing) or designated critical habitat (or critical habitat proposed such designation) might be affected or is in the vicinity of the activity, or if the activity is located in designated critical habitat or critical habitat proposed for such designation. Applicants are advised to not begin work on the activity until notified by the district engineer that the requirements of the ESA have been satisfied and that the activity is permitted. Several tools are available to help determine if an activity might affect a listed species. The applicant is advised to:

  • Consult the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) 
  • Log in or create an account and follow the instructions to request an official species list, evaluate determination keys, analyze project (if applicable), and download documentation. Provide all documentation in your application. Once your project has been assigned a Project Manager, please add that PM’s email address on the “Members” page of the IPAC project page.
  • It is also very helpful for our evaluation to have a comparison of the habitat within the project area with potential suitable habitat of the TE&C species listed in the official species list that was generated in IPaC. Information on suitable habitat for listed species can be found on the USFWS T&E website.
  • If there is potential habitat for any TE&C species or a mapped critical habitat within the project site, you are advised to contact our office as a survey may be needed. In general, you may be asked for the following: 
     
    1. The results of any habitat surveys and presence/absence surveys. Note: all surveys should be coordinated with the USFWS and/or NOAA-Fisheries (NMFS) prior to initiation.
    2. A detailed description of the proposed project, including secondary impacts and approximate proposed project construction schedule of project activities (e.g. land clearing, utilities, stormwater management).
    3. A description of the natural characteristics of the property and surrounding area (e.g. forested areas, freshwater wetlands, open waters, and soils) and a description of surrounding land use (residential, agricultural, or commercial).
    4. A description of the area to be impacted by the proposed project, including the species, typical sizes (d.b.h.) and number or acres of trees to be removed.
    5. A description of conservation measures to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate impacts to listed species.

For projects located in Indiana: A written request to USFWS to review the presence or absence of threatened and endangered species on the project property should be submitted prior to submitting your application.

Find the office nearest you


Contact a District Regulatory Office

Buffalo District
716-879-4330
Chicago District
312-846-5530
Detroit District
313-226-6413
Louisville District
502-315-6733
Huntington District: Energy Resources (West VIrginia and Ohio)
304-399-5610
Huntington District: Regulatory/Permits (Ohio)
304-399-5210
Huntington District: South/Transportation Branch (West Virginia and Ohio)
304-399-5710
Nashville District
615-369-7500
Pittsburgh District
412-395-7155

Regulatory Request System

The purpose of this system is to accept electronic submittals of information, Department of the Army permit applications, requests for jurisdictional determinations, and comments on projects from the regulated public and resource agencies in one portal. Applicants or agents can also check on the status of their requests.

Visit the Regulatory Request System

Approved Jurisdictional Determinations and Permit Decisions

A jurisdictional determination is a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers as to whether areas on your property are regulated under federal statutes. A federally-regulated wetland, lake, pond or stream is called a "waters of the U.S."

Individual Approved Jurisdictional Determinations are now available (August 2015 - present) on the National Permitting and Jurisdiction Database.  Please Select the "AJD" tab on the top of the page, and then "LRD-Great Lakes and Ohio River Division" heading in the drop-down menu.

If you are unable to find a digital copy of an Approved Jurisdictional Determination in the Permitting Database, please contact the appropriate regulatory office below.

Chick Lock

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