When the Corps has jurisdiction over a project

Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 requires approval prior to the accomplishment of any work in, over or under navigable waters of the United States, or which affects the course, location, condition or capacity of such waters

Typical activities requiring authorization under Section 10 include:

  • Construction of piers, wharves, breakwaters, jetties, weirs, marinas, ramps, floats, intake structures, and cable or pipeline crossings.
  • Work such as dredging or disposal of dredged material.
  • Excavation, filling or other modifications to navigable waters of the United States.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires permit authorization to discharge dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States, including wetlands.

Typical activities requiring authorization under Section 404 include:

  • Discharging fill or dredged material in waters of the United States, including wetlands.
  • Site development fill for residential, commercial or recreational projects, including mechanized land clearing.
  • Construction of breakwaters, levees, dams, dikes and weirs.
  • Placement of riprap and road fills.

     

     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's 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

    Regulatory Guidance Letter 16-01, Subject: Jurisdictional Determinations

    On Oct. 31, 2016, the Corps issued Regulatory Guidance Letter 16-01, Subject: Jurisdictional Determinations. RGL 16-01 explains the differences between approved and preliminary JDs and provides guidance to the field and the regulated public on when it may be appropriate to issue an approved jurisdictional determination (AJD) as opposed to a preliminary jurisdictional determination (PJD), or when it may be appropriate to not prepare any JD whatsoever. The purpose of this RGL is to encourage communication between Corps districts and JD requestors. This will help ensure a common understanding of the different options for addressing geographic jurisdiction, so the Corps can provide the appropriate JD, if any, that best satisfies the requestor's needs and circumstances. The Corps reaffirms its commitment to continue its current practice of providing an AJD if the JD requestor still believes that an AJD is needed after understanding the various options. The RGL also provides additional guidance regarding documentation of PJDs and AJDs. The Corps will set reasonable priorities based on workload and available regulatory resources. For example, it may be reasonable to give higher priority to a JD request when it accompanies a permit request. Both RGL 07-01 and 08-02 are superseded by RGL 16-01.

    RGL 16-01 and associated JD forms and instructions: