18 January 2023 - Definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
On 18 January, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (the agencies) published the final rule in the federal register establishing a revised definition of WOTUS. The date for this definition to become effective is 20 March 2023.
30 December 2022 - EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to reduce uncertainty from changing regulatory definitions, protect people’s health, and support economic opportunity. The final rule restores water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, as well as upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters. Click here to read the full press release and access the rule and related materials.
1 December 2022 - Notice of Availability of the Interim Draft National of the National Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and EPA (the Agencies) jointly announce the availability of the Interim Draft of the National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams (National OHWM Manual) and its accompanying data sheet. The Interim Draft National OHWM Manual provides draft technical guidance for identifying and delineating the OHWM using a scientifically supported, rapid framework. The Agencies are requesting comments and feedback from the public and practitioners on the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual via the public notice linked below. Following the public comment period and additional field testing, comments and feedback received from the public and practitioners will be utilized to further refine the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual for clarity, consistency, and technical accuracy. The one-year testing and comment period ends on December 1, 2023. A final version of the National OHWM Manual is anticipated to be published during 2024.
During the period while the OHWM Manual is an interim draft, OHWM identification and/or delineation for official USACE Regulatory purposes should continue in accordance with the applicable OHWM definition in the Federal regulations, Regulatory Guidance Letter 05-05, and any applicable USACE district policies. However, USACE Regulatory staff are encouraged to test the Interim Draft of the National OHWM Manual and provide comments and feedback by emailing email@example.com.
The Fort Worth District encourages the use of the data sheet to support and document OHWM delineations of streams and rivers in its area of responsibility.
28 September 2022 - Notice of Availability of the Beta Streamflow Duration Assessment Method (SDAM) for the Great Plains
On 28 September, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a joint public notice regarding the availability of the beta SDAM for the Great Plains. The purpose of this rapid assessment tool is to help distinguish between ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streamflow at the reach scale for the Northern and Southern Great Plains SDAM Regions. Practitioners are encouraged to comment on their experience using the beta SDAM during the year long beta timeframe. Comments can be sent to the USACE email or physical address located in the public notice.
Joint Public Notice for the Beta SDAM for the Great Plains
20 July 2022 - Payment of Department of the Army Permit Fees via pay.gov
Applicants are now able to pay Department of the Army permit fees online at pay.gov instead of writing and mailing a check. This convenient option allows for multiple payment methods (bank account, Amazon account, PayPal, debit or credit card). The direct link for making Department of the Army permit fee payments on pay.gov is https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/996412796. Click here for a pay.gov payment walk-through which explains the process.
25 February 2022 - Reissuance and Modification of Nationwide Permits and Regional Conditions
On 25 February, 2022, 40 reissued Nationwide Permits and one new Nationwide Permit went into effect. Nationwide Permits in this final rule expire on 14 March, 2026.
Final Rule - Federal Register Notice - 27 December 2021
Nationwide Permit Fact Sheet
Texas Nationwide Permits Summary Chart
2021 Combined Regional Conditions for the State of Texas
5 January 2022 - Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacatur
7 December 2021 - Revising the Definition of "Waters of the United States"
On 7 December 2021, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register (link below). The public comment period is now open and will close on 7 February, 2022.
18 November 2021 - EPA, Army Announce Signing of Proposed Rule to Revise the Definition of Waters of the United States
On 18 November 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” This proposal marks a key milestone in the regulatory process announced in June of 2021. The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This familiar approach to “waters of the United States” would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.
In developing the proposed rule, EPA and the Army reviewed and considered the extensive feedback and recommendations the agencies received from states, tribes, local governments, and stakeholders throughout consultations and pre-proposal meetings and webinars.
The agencies’ press release for the 18 November 2021 announcement is available at https://www.epa.gov/wotus/revising-definition-waters-united-states.
The EPA/Army website, https://www.epa.gov/wotus, contains additional information regarding the WOTUS Rulemaking.
3 September 2021 – Current Implementation of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies continue to review the order and consider next steps. This includes working expeditiously to move forward with the rulemakings announced on June 9, 2021, in order to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The agencies remain committed to crafting a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is informed by diverse perspectives and based on an inclusive foundation. Additional information is available on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus/current-implementation-waters-united-states.
30 July 2021 – EPA and Army Announce Next Steps for Crafting Enduring Definition of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) have announced plans for upcoming community engagements to inform their efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). EPA and Army have stated a commitment to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.
EPA and Army are announcing a series of engagement opportunities, including an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide written recommendations and a series of public meetings in August to hear perspectives on the rulemaking. In addition, the agencies are initiating Federalism and Tribal consultations for the foundational rule. The agencies also intend to host a series of dialogues with state and Tribal co-regulators this fall to discuss both rulemakings.
The full announcement can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-and-army-announce-next-steps-crafting-enduring-definition-waters-united-states.
For more information on submitting written recommendations or to register for the public meetings, see www.epa.gov/wotus.
9 June 2021 - EPA, Army Announce Intent to Revise Definition of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth.
The agencies’ new regulatory effort will be guided by the following considerations:
- Protecting water resources and our communities consistent with the Clean Water Act.
- The latest science and the effects of climate change on our waters.
- Emphasizing a rule with a practical implementation approach for state and Tribal partners.
- Reflecting the experience of and input received from landowners, the agricultural community that fuels and feeds the world, states, Tribes, local governments, community organizations, environmental groups, and disadvantaged communities with environmental justice concerns.
The agencies are committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement to ensure that a revised definition of waters of the United States considers essential clean water protections, as well as how the use of water supports key economic sectors. Further details of the agencies’ plans, including opportunity for public participation, will be conveyed in a forthcoming action. To learn more about the definition of waters of the United States, visit https://www.epa.gov/wotus.
13 January 2021 - REISSUANCE OF THE NATIONWIDE PERMITS
On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 2744) announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and four new NWPs, as well as the reissuance of NWP general conditions and definitions with some modifications. Click NWPs for more information about implementation of the NWPs in the Fort Worth District.
18 May 2020 -2018 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) Update
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is announcing the availability of the final 2018 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2018 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-18/pdf/2020-10630.pdf
The NWPL provides plant species 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 May 18, 2020 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 http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/. State, regional, and national lists can also be downloaded from this site.
18 Mar 2020-Regulatory Division Operations and E-submissions
The Fort Worth District Regulatory Division remains in operation. This includes, but is not limited to: accepting pre-application meeting requests, applications for Section 404 Clean Water Act and Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act, Individual Permits, Pre-Construction Notifications for use of Nationwide or Regional General Permits, Aquatic Resource Delineation Reviews and Jurisdictional Determinations, mitigation proposals, site visits and compliance inspections. Regulatory Project Managers are available by telephone and e-mail, however, face to face meetings in the Lanham Federal Building in Fort Worth have been curtailed until further notice. Telephone calls to our front desk 817-886-1731 will be forwarded to our Regulator of the Day. Please leave a message, telephone number and an e-mail address and a Project Manager will contact you as soon as possible.
We encourage the public to take full advantage of the paperless/electronic submittals procedures established 20 Nov 2019 as the primary means of accepting applications. See Electronic Submittal Instructions for more information.
Applicants/Consultants may submit all initial questions and application materials to CESWF-Permits@usace.army.mil. For reporting unauthorized activities in waters of the United States, you may complete a Fort Worth District Alleged Violation Report Form and email it to CESWF-Compliance@usace.army.mil. Permit Compliance Certification Forms and Compliance Monitoring Reports may also be sent to CESWF-Compliance@usace.army.mil.
07 August 2019 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 19-02 (Timeframes for Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications and Clarification of Waiver Responsibility) The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-02. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers to clarify timeframes improve efficiency for receiving Section 401 Water Quality Certification decisions.
25 February 2019 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 19-01 (Mitigation Bank Credit Release Schedules and Equivalency in Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee Program Service Areas) The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on credit release schedule for mitigation banks and on using consistent criteria to establish service areas for both mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs.
Flood Recovery and Repair Activities-Special Public Notice-In response to the severe flooding and other storm related damages in the Fort Worth District. Municipalities and owners of damaged property wanting to conduct repair activities resulting in dredging or placing fill in waters of the United States, including rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, and wetlands should review the public notice. Many of the permits have scopes of work and thresholds which allow you to accomplish your project without delay or waiting for an authorization.
The National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils has updated the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States to version 8.2 in electronic format at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053171.pdf For more information regarding hydric soils, go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/use/hydric/
Hydrologic Modeling Guidelines Technical Report and Checklist
This Technical Report presents technical information supporting development of a set of Hydrologic Modeling Guidelines (HMGs) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District Regulatory Division (Corps). The HMGs are designed for discretionary application by Corps project managers and water supply permit Applicants to assist in identifying hydrologic analysis and modeling needs and requirements associated with water supply and management permit applications, with a focus on the RiverWare modeling platform for cases that require hydrologic modeling. The HMGs are intended to add predictability and transparency to the aspects of the permitting process related to hydrologic modeling but are not required to be used by Applicants or Corps regulators. These guidelines have been developed primarily for the Corps’ Regulatory Program’s (Regulatory) project managers who have limited experience associated with the topics covered.