Learn more about the Navigable Waters Protection Rule vacatur at the USACE headquarters website.
On November 18, 2021 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of Waters of the United States

Regulatory Program Notices

Below are regulatory announcements, in chronological order, which are both current and historical. Current announcements provide information regarding ongoing regulatory processes and happenings. Historical announcements remain posted, as long as they remain up-to-date and applicable, to provide the public with a transparent record of changes and improvements to our program.   Regulatory image of trees over a creek

Emergency Permitting Procedures

Portland District
Published Oct. 5, 2020

Emergency Procedures

Issue Date: October 5, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) is issuing a Special Public Notice to inform the public that the Corps has posted emergency procedures on its website, as follows:

The Corps regulations for processing of permit applications at 33 CFR Part 325.2(e)(4) defines an “emergency” as a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a Department of the Army Permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the application under standard procedures.

The Corps may not view an action as an emergency if the applicant has known of the deficient condition and the need for work, but has not made reasonable attempts to secure appropriate permits and to conduct the work in a timely manner. Emergency declarations by the state or a county government does not mean all projects within the region of the declared emergency qualify as emergency situations. The Corps makes emergency authorization decisions on a case-by-case basis. 

You must immediately notify the Corps Regulatory Branch of the need for emergency work and obtain authorization, if applicable, prior to performing the work in waters of the United States. The Corps has the responsibility to determine if the proposed work is consistent with the Corps’ definition of an emergency, whether authorization is needed, and if so, which type of authorization is required. 

Contact the Corps Regulatory Branch Immediately:
Call the Corps Regulatory Branch project manager for your region to discuss the situation as soon as possible. For a list of project managers and their regions, visit www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Contact. If you need to contact the Corps after work hours or on weekends, please contact the Regulatory Branch Chief, Mr. Bill Abadie, at (503) 708-7653.

If the work meets the Corps’ definition of emergency, then the Corps will initiate the emergency authorization procedures. Emergency authorization procedures include coordinating with resources agencies, tribes, and our Division office. The process may take from a few hours to up to a week. Work cannot begin until the Corps indicates work may commence. The emergency work should be the minimum necessary to resolve the emergency situation. Following the emergency, additional coordination with the Corps will likely be required to remove or modify the emergency work, to obtain authorization for additional proposed work to complete the final project, or for compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States. A final permit approval may take over six months to obtain.

For projects that do not qualify as emergency situations, the Corps may initiate “expedited” (non-emergency) authorization procedures. This process may take several weeks to complete. In other cases, the proposed work will be subject to our permit processing procedures appropriate for the nature and location of the proposed work. 

It is important that you contact the Corps prior to beginning work in waters of the United States and as soon as you are aware of the need for work. Unauthorized work may be subject to an enforcement action under our procedures outlined in 33 CFR 326.