Determinations of Jurisdiction for the Chicago District Regulatory Branch


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.   If your files are larger than 10 MB we can provide you with an upload link on our file share site.

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.

Delineation Reports

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.

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 or by email.

Jurisdictional Determinations expire after five years.

Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

Individual Approved Jurisdictional Determinations are now available (August 2015 - present) on the National Permitting and Jurisdiction Database.  Please Select the "AJD" tab on the top of the page, and then "LRC-Chicago District" underneath "LRD-Great Lakes and Ohio River Division" heading in the drop down menu.  Some jurisdictional determinations within Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Indiana could be found under "LRE-Detroit District".

Navigable Waters of the United States

within the Chicago District regulated under
Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899

This does not include all the waters regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Calumet River, IL Navigable throughout
Calumet-Sag Channel, IL Navigable throughout
Chicago River, IL  
    Main Branch Navigable throughout
    North Branch Navigable throughout
    North Branch Canal Navigable throughout
    North Shore Channel Navigable throughout
    South Branch Navigable throughout
    South Fork of South Branch Navigable throughout
    (West Fork of North Branch and Skokie River are not Navigable waters)
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, IL Navigable throughout
Des Plaines River, IL Hofmann Dam at Riverside, IL
Fox River, IL (includes Chain-of-Lakes area) Navigable throughout
Grand Calumet River, IL & IN

Navigable throughout, East to Marquette Park

Illinois and Michigan Canal, IL Navigable throughout remaining portions
Illinois River, IL Navigable throughout
Indiana Harbor Canal, IN  
    Main Stem Navigable throughout
    Calumet River Branch Navigable throughout
    Lake George Branch From the Main Stem to White Oak Avenue in East Chicago
Iroquois River, IL Navigable throughout
Kankakee River, IL & IN Navigable throughout
Lake Calumet, IL Navigable throughout
Lake Michigan, IL & IN Navigable throughout
Little Calumet River, IL & IN Navigable throughout, East to I-94 as Kemper Ditch
Trail Creek, IN E Street Bridge at Michigan City,
1 mile above mouth