US Army Corps of Engineers
Galveston District

Regulatory Branch Hot Topics

To improve the customer service experience, the Regulatory Division has now established a Regulatory Hotline at 409-766-3869

Important Information on the Department of the Army Permitting Process.

Updated Jurisidictional Delineation GPS Procedures

30 May 2019 - Galveston District Regulatory Program Workshop Presentations

Special Public Notice - Flood Recovery and Repair Activities in the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Special Public Notice - Clean Water Act Proposed Rule for a Revised Definition of the "Waters of the U.S."

11 December 2018 - EPA and Army Propose New "Waters of the United States" Definition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule."  The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019.  More information including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, the supporting analyses and fact sheets are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.

7 January 2019 - EPA and Army Postpone Public Hearing on Proposed New "Waters of the United States" Definition 

Due to the lapse in appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA and the Department of the Army (Army) have postponed the planned January 23 public hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition until after appropriations have passed to fund the EPA.  Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is also postponed.  Information on the status of the public hearing will be posted on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/epa-and-army-postpone-public-hearing-proposed-new-waters-united-states-definition.

10 June 2019  - Proposed revisions to National Wetland Plant List

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, announces the draft biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) for 2018 in the Federal Register.  The Corps encourages public input in the form of data, comments, literature references, or field experiences, to help clarify the status of the species reviewed for this update, as well as public input on the NWPL process.  The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed update or addition of wetland indicator status ratings for 20 plant species in select Corps wetland regions.  These 20 reviewed species and their draft 2018 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FR notice, can be viewed at the NWPL homepage, http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/ under “2018 NWPL Update Information.” A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. Users are encouraged to submit literature citations, herbaria records, experiential references, monitoring data, and other relevant information. Specific knowledge of, or studies related to, individual species are particularly helpful. Commenters should use their regional botanical and ecological expertise, field observations, reviews of the most recent indicator status information, appropriate botanical literature, floras, herbarium specimens with notation of habitat and associated species, habit data, relevant studies, and historic list information. Guessing ratings is inappropriate. All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration.

The Corps is also seeking comments on the NWPL update process. Detailed information on the update process, protocol, and technical issues can be found in the following documents (available on the NWPL Publications web page referenced above):

1) Lichvar, Robert W. and Minkin, Paul. Concepts and Procedures for Updating the National Wetland Plant List. Sept 2008. ERDC/CRREL TN-08-3

2) Lichvar, Robert W. and Gillrich, Jennifer J. Final Protocol for Assigning Wetland Indicator Status Ratings during National Wetland Plant List Update. Sept 2011. ERDC/CRREL TN-11-1

Regulatory Division

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

Permit Preapplication Screening

The Galveston District has established new electronic procedures which will allow potential applicants to contact a member of the regulatory staff to request electronic preapplication consultation. After your request is submitted electronically, a member of our staff will conduct a brief but thorough review of your proposed project and provide helpful information necessary to pursue your application. We will provide you a summary of information which the Corps must consider in its permit decision making process, review your information for completeness, and we may schedule you for a Joint Evaluation Meeting to present your project to other state and federal agencies.

You may also submit electronic copies of your application through the electronic preapplication process to determine if your application is complete. A member of our staff will review your permit application for completeness and notify you if additional information is required prior to applying. Please be advised, the processing clock for Nationwide Permit Preconstruction Notification will not be initiated and the Galveston District will only initiate permit processing when a hard copy is recieved by our office.

Pre-application jurisdictional verifications will not be accepted electronically. To request pre-application jurisdictional delineation verification, contact our Regulatory Hotline at 409-766-3869 to schedule an appointment.

The electronic application and attached documents must not exceed 5 megabytes (5MB). However, electronic documents must have sufficient resolution to show project details.

To submit your request, please email preapplication_swg@usace.army.mil