The Corps of Engineers has been involved in regulating activities by others in navigable waterways through the granting of permits since passage of the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1899, which was primarily concerned with preventing obstructions to navigation. Passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 (amended in 1977) greatly broadened this role by giving the Corps of Engineers authority over dredging and filling in all “waters of the United States,” including many wetlands.
The Rock Island District has a staff of 20 professionals who review more than 1,800 permit requests a year for the construction of structures and facilities, and the discharge of dredged or fill material in wetlands and waterways. A major goal of the Regulatory program is the protection of waters of the US, which ranges from large rivers to small streams, and includes lakes, ponds, and special aquatic sites, including wetlands, with the goal of no net loss of wetlands. In reaching a decision on whether to issue (with or without conditions), or deny a permit, District Commanders are required to consider “all factors in the public interest,” including economic development and environmental protection. As a service to the public, minor activities in wetlands or waters of the United States are often covered by regional or nationwide general permits. The Rock Island District is the “lead” Corps of Engineers District for regulatory matters in Iowa and Illinois, and has regulatory responsibility for a portion of Northeast Missouri.
For further information on the Regulatory Program, and to obtain permit application information, please visit our Regulatory Web site or contact us by phone at: (309) 794-5057.