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Published Feb. 18, 2022
Expiration date: 2/18/2023



Due to staffing constraints and the volume of requests for approved jurisdictional determinations, the Chicago District must prioritize how it conducts site visits needed to determine the presence of waters and wetlands subject to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. As a result, Regulatory staff may be unable to schedule site visits within 60-to-90 days after receipt of some requests.


The highest priority for scheduling and associated correspondence will be given to permit applications currently being processed, new permit applications, and enforcement actions concerning unauthorized activities. Lower priority will be given to requests seeking to identify or delineate waters and wetlands on properties that are the subject of speculative land transactions; that are needed to meet self-imposed requirements of land institutions, real estate appraisers, and/ or other real estate entities needed for closing transactions; and that are needed for government approvals (e.g., planning boards, septic approvals, etc.). Requests for these lower priority determinations will be honored as time permits. Please note that obtaining an approved jurisdictional determination is often not necessary. Applicants can elect to assume that the resources are under Corps' jurisdiction and immediately proceed with an application submittal to commence a review under the permit program.


Parties requiring a faster response (e.g., approvals required per local or county ordinances) may elect to retain the services of an environmental consultant. Information obtained from a consultant can provide a general idea of the extent of waters and wetlands on a parcel of land. However, determinations made by outside environmental consultants are not binding in any way on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers without the Corps’ official confirmation of the determination and should not be used to support the discharge of dredged or fill material into aquatic resources. Parties using determinations obtained from environmental consultants do so at their own risk.


The Chicago District understands the implications this policy may have on certain activities and real estate transactions. The Chicago District must carefully balance its time and resources to continue to efficiently perform all of its Regulatory functions.