The identification and location of jurisdictional waters of the United States, including wetlands regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, is determined through a process known as a Jurisdictional Determination (JD). The Corps uses a multi-parameter approach defined in the Corps' Wetland Delineation Manual, dated January 1987, and supplemental guidance (including Regional Supplements) when making wetland determinations. View graphics generally depicting the extent of Section 10 and Section 404 jurisdiction

On 18 January 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Army (“the agencies”) published a regulation in the Federal Register revising the definition of “waters of the United States” (“the 2023 Rule”). This 2023 Rule became effective on 20 March 2023.  Information on the current definition of "waters of the United States" is provided at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus/current-implementation-waters-united-states. Additional updates on the "waters of the United States" definition may be found at: https://www.usace.army.mil/missions/civil-works/regulatory-program-and-permits/.

Specific information regarding jurisdiction determinations, applicable forms, and user information are located at the following link: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/juris_info/ .

Information needed for jurisdictional determinations can be found below.

Request for Corps Jurisdictional Determination (JD)

Baltimore District Approved JD Information Checklist

• Preliminary Jurisdictional Determination Form (PJD)

• Regulatory Guidance Letter 16-01 (RGL 16-01)

Regional Supplements

Regional Supplements to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual are part of a nationwide effort to address regional wetland characteristics and improve the accuracy and efficiency of wetland-delineation procedures. Regional differences in climate, geology, soils, hydrology, plant and animal communities, and other factors are important to the identification and functioning of wetlands. These supplements were developed by wetland delineation experts from state and federal agencies and academia with experience within this area. Where differences in the two documents occur, the Regional Supplement takes precedence over the Corps Manual.

The Baltimore District is currently using three Regional Supplements:

1. Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Supplement

2. Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Supplement

3. Northcentral and Northeast Supplement


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, is announcing the availability of the final 2020 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2020 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list

The NWPL provides plant species wetland indicator status ratings, which are used in determining whether the hydrophytic vegetation factor is met when conducting wetland delineations under the Clean Water Act and wetland determinations under the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the NWPL include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. The list is effective as of 2 November 2021 and will be used in any wetland delineations performed after this date. Completed wetland delineation/determination forms should reference the version of the NWPL used to complete the form.  The final NWPL is available at https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

Requesting a Jurisdictional Determination

A property owner or interest may request a jurisdictional determination or verification of delineation from the Corps of Engineers. The final determination of whether an area is waters of the United States, including jurisdictional wetlands, and whether the activity requires a permit must be made by a Corps District Office.

Please send your requests for Jurisdictional Determinations in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and military bases in Northern Virginia to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
ATTN: Regulatory Branch
2 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Email NAB-Regulatory@usace.army.mil with subject line as Maryland Jurisdictional Determination, District of Columbia Jurisdictional Determination, or Northern Virginia Jurisdictional Determination.

Please send your requests for Jurisdictional Determinations for that area of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Baltimore District Regulatory boundaries to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Pennsylvania Field Office
1631 South Atherton Street
State College, Pennsylvania 16801

Email NAB-Regulatory@usace.army.mil with subject line as Pennsylvania Jurisdictional Determination.

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