US Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District Website

Jurisdictional Determinations (JD)

A jurisdictional determination is a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers as to whether areas on your property are regulated under federal statutes. A federally-regulated wetland, lake, pond or stream is called a "waters of the U.S."

To request a jurisdictional determination, you will need to fill out and submit the Request for A Jurisdictional Determination Form. Please include a map, and a copy of the plat of survey or an aerial photograph identifying the boundaries of the property.

You can mail your request to our office, or you can send it through email to Electronic submittals still require a signature and attachments must be less than 10 MB.  For submittals greater than 10MB and less than 8GB, the DoD SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange) can be used.  Make sure to put as the recipient email.  Please contact us for an access code.

Federal Regulations

The Corps of Engineers asserts jurisdiction over waters and wetlands of the United States under two federal statutes 1) Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and 2) Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Determination of jurisdiction is affected by current guidance and rulings.

Wetland Delineations

If the Corps has determined there are "waters of the U.S." on a project site, you may be required to submit a wetland delineation showing the boundaries and describing the aquatic resources before a permit is issued from our office. The District maintains a list of consultants and consulting firms that perform wetland delineations.

Wetland delineations should be performed using our recommended Delineation Standards, using the appropriate Regional Supplement to the Corps Delineation Manual to the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual.  On agricultural land, there are methods to determine farmed wetlands.  The Floristic Quality Assessment Calculator can be used for determining wetland quality.

Isolated Wetlands

If your project site contains potential isolated wetlands and/or wetlands subject to significant nexus determination, please submit an electronic copy of your complete submittal. As required by the Supreme Court Rapanos Guidance, we are required to provide copies of completed jurisdictional determination forms to USEPA for their 21-day review process. Your assistance with providing information in electronic format will expedite our jurisdictional determination process.

Additional Information

Additionally, we post our determinations of jurisdiction and no jurisdiction monthly. We also provide a list of Section 10 Navigable Waterways and their jurisdictional determinations on our website.

You may assume federal-jurisdiction over waters on your property and proceed with a permit application to our office. If you are in need of assistance, please contact our office at 312-846-5530.

Jurisdictional Determinations expire after five years.