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Regulatory Program - Pennsylvania

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.


If your project proposes impacts to waters of the United States (including wetlands), you should complete a permit application and submit it to the district office which covers your project. Submittal should include the appropriate documentation of your project including a location map, plan-view (top-view) and cross-section (side-view) drawings. 

See specific APPLICATION SUBMITTAL DIRECTIONS should be directed to the local regulatory office

Click here for application instructions and here for the Nationwide Permit Pre-construction Notification form.  NOTE:  Internet Explorer is recommended for viewing.  If you receive an error message regarding your PDF viewer, right click the "Nationwide Permit Pre-construction Notification Form" link and select "Save Link As" to download the application. You may need to select "Enable All Features" to view the form in Adobe Acrobat



Coordination with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

  • Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (Water Quality Certification [WQC]): An individual WQC may be required from the state if your projects exceeds ½ acre of total impacts to waters of the United States, or in special circumstances.  Please note your Corps permit may be authorized as provisional if you have not received individual WQC if it’s required. The Corps recommends that you contact the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to determine if this will be required for your project; click here for PADEP information. 

For All Permits

  • Endangered Species:  The Corps is required to coordinate with the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for any proposed project (all permit types) that may affect a federally listed threatened or endangered species. Specific to Nationwide Permits (NWP), General Condition 18 (Endangered Species), states that a pre-construction notification be submitted to the Corps if a federally listed species is in the "vicinity" of an applicant's project.  You may contact the USFWS, Pennsylvania Ecological Services Field Office for additional information.  
  • Historic Properties: The Corps is required to coordinate with the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for any project (all types of permits) that may have the potential to cause effects to any property listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  Specific to NWPs, General Condition 20 contained within, states that a pre-construction notification (PCN) is required for any project that may have the potential to cause effects to any historic properties listed, eligible for listing, or potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, including previously unidentified properties.  Prior to submitting a PCN, it is recommended that the applicant contact the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office.

For projects along Lake Erie

Permit applicants are required to describe how they will avoid, minimize, and compensate for impacts to waters of the United States.  Unavoidable impacts may require compensatory mitigation to help offset the loss of functions and services.  Typically, compensatory mitigation will be required for permanent jurisdictional wetland losses greater than 0.1 acre.  Compensatory mitigation for jurisdictional stream or other aquatic resource impacts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Regional General Permits: These are for small specialized projects that are regionally available.

PASPGP-6 (click to access full permit): authorizes work in waters of the United States within portions of the state of Pennsylvania for activities that would cause no more than minimal adverse environmental effects, individually and cumulatively, subject to the permit’s specific terms and conditions. This programmatic general permit operates in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s Department of the Environment’s (PADEP) state regulatory program that protects the aquatic environment in a manner equivalent to the Department of the Army regulatory program. PASPGP-6 became effective July 1, 2021 and will expire June 30, 2026. View the June 28, 2021 public notice regarding the issuance of PASPGP-6.

Find the office nearest you

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.

Contact a District Regulatory Office

Buffalo District
Chicago District
Detroit District
Louisville District
Huntington District: Energy Resources (West VIrginia and Ohio)
Huntington District: Regulatory/Permits (Ohio)
Huntington District: South/Transportation Branch (West Virginia and Ohio)
Nashville District
Pittsburgh District
Chick Lock

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