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Regulatory Overview

The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the Nation's aquatic resources while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions.  The Corps has been regulating activities in the nation's waters since 1890. The program was initially created solely to prevent obstructions to navigation, although an early 20th century law gave the Corps regulatory authority over the dumping of trash and sewage. The passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 greatly broadened this role by giving the Corps authority over dredging and filling in the "waters of the United States," including many wetlands.

Regulatory Branch Authority

The regulatory authorities and responsibilities of the Corps of Engineers are based on the following laws:

  • Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. 401) prohibits the construction of any dam or dike across any navigable water of the United States in the absence of Congressional consent and approval of the plans by the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary of the Army.
  • Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States without a permit from the Corps of Engineers.
  • Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1413) authorizes the Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters.

    Other laws may also affect the processing of applications for Corps of Engineers permits. Some of these laws are the National Environmental Policy Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Help Us Get Better

We at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch are committed to improving service to our customers and would like to know how well we have been doing.

You are our customer if you submitted a permit application, requested a Jurisdictional determination, wetland delineation or scheduled a pre-application meeting with us. Other customers include those of you who receive our Public Notices and/or commented on a particular project because of your interest in the Regulatory Program. To identify how we can better serve you, we need your help.

Please take the time to fill out this brief survey and mail it back to us. Your honest opinions will help us determine areas in which we need to improve. Thank you for your time and comments! Response to this survey is VOLUNTARY. If you choose not to respond it will not affect any current or future dealings you may have with the USACE in any way.

To access the survey, click here.

Contact Us

Regulatory Branch Contact Information:
General Information: 410-962-3670
For specific questions, click here for listing of Regulators by county.

Mailing Addresses:
(Main office)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Regulatory Branch (CENAB-OP-R)
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, MD 21203-1715

State College Field Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1631 South Atherton Street
Suite 101
State College, PA 16801
FAX: 814-235-0576

Carlisle Field Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
401 East Louther Street
Suite 205
Carlisle, PA 17013
FAX: 717-240-0523

Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Field Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
710 Ives Run Lane
Tioga, PA 16946-8643
FAX: 570-835-5422