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Regulatory

Regulatory Program - West Virginia

Published Jan. 29, 2024
Updated: Feb. 1, 2024

The Regulatory Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Huntington District is responsible for administering the Regulatory Program in the majority of West Virginia.  The Regulatory Division of the Corps Pittsburgh District also has an area of responsibility within portions of West Virginia.  To find the appropriate District based on the location of your project or issue.  click here.

The Regulatory Division evaluates permit applications for essentially all work that occurs in “waters of the United States” that are regulated by the Corps pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Some examples of areas that may be within the jurisdiction of the Corps include marshes, swamps, streams, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, seasonally saturated forested and non-forested wetlands.

All regulated activities occurring within jurisdictional waters require a permit from Corps. Some example activities occurring within jurisdictional waters that require a permit include dredging of waterways, bank stabilization, recreational ponds and lakes, as well as the construction of piers, docks, marinas, fleeting areas, boat ramps, roads, residential and commercial developments, utility lines, and mining activities.

In order to determine whether your proposed activity requires a permit, or whether any “waters of the U.S.” are located on your property or within your project area, please explore our website or contact us for further guidance. Please note that the Corps will make the final determination of whether an area is a jurisdictional “water of the U.S.” and whether the activity requires a permit.

We are dedicated to providing strong protection of the Nation’s aquatic environment, including wetlands, to enhance the efficiency of Corps’ administration of its regulatory program, and to ensuring that the Corps provides the regulated public with fair and reasonable decisions.

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 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 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 the Individual Permit Application Form and here for the Nationwide Permit Pre-construction Notification form.  NOTE:  ENG Form 6082 is used for Nationwide Permits.  The document must be opened using Adobe Acrobat, it will not open in a web browser, right click the "Application Form" link and select "Save Link As" to download the application. Then go to the folder you downloaded to and open the PDF document. You may need to select "Enable All Features" to view the form in Adobe Acrobat.

  Individual Permit Application Form Instructions

Request for Jurisdictional Determination (JD)

Please mail completed forms to 
Huntington District – LRH.permits@usace.army.mil
Pittsburgh District – Regulatory.Permits@usace.army.mil

If you do not have internet access, information may be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service to the appropriate Regulatory Office:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
ATTN: Regulatory Division
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Phone: (304) 399-5610
Fax: (304) 399-5805

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District
ATTN: Regulatory Division
William S. Moorhead Federal Building
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-4186
Phone: (412) 395-7155
Fax: (412) 644-4211

 

 

Information about Jurisdictional Waters can be found here.

If you are unsure if your property contains jurisdictional waters, contact the appropriate District based on the location of your project or issue by clicking here.

Request for Jurisdictional Determination (JD)

Please email completed JD request forms to: 
Huntington District – LRH.permits@usace.army.mil
Pittsburgh District – Regulatory.Permits@usace.army.mil

If you do not have internet access, information may be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service to the appropriate Regulatory Office:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
ATTN: Regulatory Division
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Phone: (304) 399-5610
Fax: (304) 399-5805

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District
ATTN: Regulatory Division
William S. Moorhead Federal Building
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-4186
Phone: (412) 395-7155
Fax: (412) 644-4211

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency define wetlands as follows:

Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

In general, wetlands are areas with wetland vegetation (cattails, rushes, sedges, willows, etc.) where the soil is saturated or flooded during a significant portion of the year during most years. Wetlands include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands such as swamps and marshes are often obvious, but some wetlands are not easily recognized, often because they are dry during part of the year or "they just don't look very wet" from the roadside.

The use of the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual and the applicable Regional Supplements is required when any wetland delineation is performed and submitted to the Corps. The submitted wetland delineation should be accompanied by appropriate documentation and will be subject to review and validation by the Corps.

The Corps Wetland Delineation Manual and Regional Supplements can be found here.

The National Wetland Plant List for each region can be found here.

 

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (Water Quality Certification [WQC]): An individual WQC may be required from the state.  The Corps recommends that you contact the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to determine if this will be required for your project; click here for WVDEP information.

Endangered Species:  The Corps is required to coordinate with the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) West Virginia Field Office (WVFO) for any proposed project (all permit types) that may affect a federally listed threatened or endangered species or their designed critical habitat. Specific to Nationwide Permits (NWP), General Condition 18 (Endangered Species), states that a pre-construction notification must be submitted to the Corps if a federally listed species is in the "vicinity" of an applicant's project. You can reach the USFWS WVFO by address at 6263 Appalachian Highway Davis, West Virginia 26260, by phone at (304) 866-3858 or by email FW5_WVFO@fws.gov

To obtain the most up to date information on federally threatened and endangered species applicants are encouraged to utilize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation System (IPaC) found at https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/

The West Virginia Mussel Survey Protocol may be found at the following link: http://www.wvdnr.gov/Mussels/Main.shtm

Historic Properties: The Corps is required to coordinate with the West Virginia 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 on 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 West Virginia SHPO.

The West Virginia National Register of Historic Places can be found at the following link: https://wvculture.org/research/national-register-of-historical-places/ The West Virginia SHPO Interactive Map Viewer can be found at the following link: https://mapwv.gov/shpo/ When reviewing a PCN, the Corps will scope appropriate historic property identification efforts and, if applicable, work with the applicant to take into account the effect of the proposed activity on historic properties.

The West Virginia Division of Arts, Culture and History SHPO may be contacted at address at 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, West Virginia 25305 or by phone at (304) 558-0220

When impacts to waters of the United States including wetlands, are proposed, mitigation is often required. The application must include a statement describing how impacts to waters of the United States are to be avoided and minimized.

The objective of compensatory mitigation is to offset environmental losses resulting from unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States. In general, the mitigation should be located within the same watershed as the impact site and should be located where it is most likely to successfully replace functions and services lost as a result of the impact to waters.

Compensatory mitigation can be carried out through four (4) methods: the restoration of a previously-existing wetland or other aquatic site, the establishment (i.e. creation) of a new aquatic site, the enhancement of an existing aquatic site’s functions, or the preservation of an existing aquatic site. There are three (3) mechanisms for providing compensatory mitigation: mitigation banks, in-lieu fee mitigation and permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation.

Typically, compensatory mitigation for NWPs and RGPs will be required for permanent jurisdictional wetland losses greater than 0.1 acre, permanent wetland conversion greater than 0.1 acre, and permanent loss of streams greater than 3/100 acre.  Compensatory mitigation for IPs will be commensurate with the proposed loss of waters of the United States.  Compensatory mitigation for other aquatic resource impacts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Mitigation requirements can be found in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 332.

West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric

Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) 

Financial Assurances for Compensatory Mitigation Projects

Requirements for a Complete Prospectus

Mechanisms for Conducting Compensatory Mitigation

Long-term Management of Compensatory Mitigation Projects

Site Protection for Compensatory Mitigation Projects

Standard Permits

A Standard Permit is an individual permit that involves a full public interest review of an individual application for a Department of the Army permit. A public notice is distributed to all known interested persons, including federal and state resource agencies, American Indian Tribes, and adjacent property owners. The comment period is usually 

30 days. After evaluating all comments and information received, an environmental assessment is prepared and a final decision on the application is made.

The permit decision is generally based on the outcome of a public interest balancing process where the benefits of the project are balanced against the detriments. A permit will be granted unless the proposal is found to be contrary to the public interest.

Letters of Permission

A letter of permission is a type of an individual permit issued through an abbreviated processing procedure that includes coordination with Federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, as required by the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and a public interest evaluation, but without the publishing of an individual public notice (See 33 CFR § 325.2(e)(1)).  A Letter of Permission (LOP) procedure is an alternative procedure for evaluating individual permit applications for activities in waters of the United States authorized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).  An LOP procedure serves to reduce the administrative procedures and to expedite permit decisions for cases that include only minor work in waters of the United States that do not have significant individual or cumulative environmental impacts and should encounter no appreciable opposition.  The letter of permission may not be used to authorize the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it in ocean waters. A LOP may be used in those cases subject to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 when, the proposed work would be minor, would not have significant individual or cumulative impacts on environmental values, and should encounter no appreciable opposition.  To use LOP in cases subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Corps must first consult with Federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the state water quality certifying agency on appropriate categories of activities for authorization under LOP procedures.   The Corps must also issue a public notice advertising the proposed list and the LOP procedures, request comments and offer an opportunity for public hearing.  Finally 401 certification must be issued or waived and, if appropriate, Coastal Zone Management consistency concurrence obtained or presumed either on a generic or individual basis. 

An LOP may include general conditions and appropriate case-specific provisions necessary to protect the environment, including natural and cultural resources.  LOP procedures may not have an expiration date, but LOPs issued under the procedure always will have an expiration date.  The Corps must conduct a public interest evaluation, but there is no requirement for a public notice.  The permittee is responsible for obtaining any additional federal, state, or local permits that may be required.  Prior to authorizing any project, the Corps must conduct a public interest evaluation and coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Ohio Department of Natural Resources; and may coordinate with other agencies such as United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office depending on the nature of the proposed activities.  Refer to the applicable LOP procedure for the requirements in each case.

Work that does not comply with the provisions of LOP procedure may require authorization by standard individual permit.  Compliance with the LOP procedure, including the general conditions, does not guarantee authorization of the work by an LOP.  Application procedures are included with each LOP procedure.

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

State

Permit Number

Authorized Activity

Jurisdiction

WV

LRH-2019-158-1  

WVDOT transportation projects 

 Section 10 and Section 404

WV/PA

LRH-2017-00586

Abandoned Mine Lands

Section 10 and Section 404

 

Nationwide Permits

All nationwide permits expire March 14, 2026

The Huntington District processes all highway projects where the West Virginia Department of Transportation is the applicant.

Section 10 Streams

Huntington District

  • Section 10 Streams shared by West Virginia, Kentucky and/or Ohio

Ohio River - mile 127.2 to mile 438.0 (New Martinsville, WV to Foster, KY)
Russell Fork - mouth to mile 17.0 (Millard, KY to the Virginia state line near Potters Flats, WV) 
Tug Fork - mouth to mile 58.0 (Louisa, KY to Williamson, WV)
Big Sandy River - mouth to mile 26.83 (Catlettsburg, KY to Louisa, KY)
Levisa Fork - mouth to mile 130.0 (Louisa, KY to Virginia state line near Toonerville, KY)

  • West Virginia Section 10 Rivers

Coal River - mouth to mile 57.9 (St. Albans, WV to Jarrolds Valley, WV)
Elk River - mouth to mile 139.0 (Charleston, WV to Webster Springs, WV)
Gauley River - mouth to mile 75.0 (Gauley Bridge, WV to mouth of Williams River at Camden in Gauley, WV)
Greenbrier River - mouth to mile 150.5 (Hinton, WV to Durbin, WV)
Guyandot River - mouth to mile 122.0 (Huntington, WV to Clear Fork, WV)
Kanawha River - mouth to mile 97.0 (Point Pleasant, WV to Gauley Bridge, WV)
Little Kanawha River - mouth to mile 130.75 (Parkersburg, WV to Bulltown, WV)
New River - mouth to mile 87.5 (Gauley Bridge, WV to the Virginia state line near Roundbottom Creek, WV)

Pittsburgh District

Monongahela River -  Total Length in State
Tygart River - 7 Miles
West Fork - 74 Miles
Shenandoah River - Total Length in State
Potomac River - Total Length in State

Slackwater list

Report a violation

To ensure a timely response to general information requests and other inquiries, the Corps recommends using the appropriate “Door to the Corps” email address shown below. To find your District, click here.  When submitting a violation complaint email, please include “Violation Complaint” in the subject line of the email, your preferred contact information, a general description of the alleged violation (provide as much information as possible, including the purpose of the work and estimated amount of impact, if known), address where alleged violation occurred, the alleged violator name and contact information, nearest waterbody and type of waterbody affected (e.g. river, stream, lake, pond, wetland, etc.), type of material Discharged (e.g. dirt, gravel, rock, construction debris, tires, other, etc.), equipment used (e.g., backhoe, bulldozer, dump truck, etc.), date(s) activity observed, and an indication of the activity in ongoing.  

Please email violation complaint to: 

Huntington District – LRH.permits@usace.army.mil
Pittsburgh District – Regulatory.Permits@usace.army.mil

If you do not have internet access, information may be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service to the appropriate Regulatory Office:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
ATTN: Regulatory Division
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Phone: (304) 399-5610
Fax: (304) 399-5805

 

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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