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Regulatory Permit Program

Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Public Service Commitment.

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 Water is Gooood!!!!

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The Wilmington District administers the Corps of Engineers regulatory permit program for waters and wetlands in North Carolina. The Wilmington District's Regulatory Program manages and protects North Carolina's aquatic resources through fair, flexible, and balanced permit decisions. Aquatic resources that we regulate include wetlands, rivers, stream channels, lakes, ponds and tidal waters.

There are two main federal laws that task the Corps of Engineers with the authority to regulate our nation's waterways: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. 

Contact us if these resources may be present on your property and you may be working in or near these areas.

News from the Regulatory Program

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Related Link Workload Management Public Notice

Posted 9/27/2018

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         Due to a demanding and very large daily workload, Regulatory Field Staff may be unable to schedule field visits in less than 30-90 days for the purpose of determining the presence of waters and wetlands subject to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulatory jurisdiction pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.


            The highest priorities for site visits and associated correspondence are those projects for which permit applications are currently being processed or are imminent, and for those sites involving enforcement actions for unauthorized work.  Additionally, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, priority will be given to processing emergency permit applications.  You should be aware that site visits and associated correspondence for the purpose of identifying or delineating waters and wetlands on property which is the subject of speculative land transactions, for meeting self-imposed requirements of land institutions, real estate appraisers, or other real estate entities for purposes of closing loans on short notice and for local government approvals (e.g., planning boards, septic approvals, etc.), will be given lower priority due to staffing limitations.  Requests for these low priority determinations will be honored as time allows.  Parties desiring a quicker response may elect to retain the services of an environmental consultant to make more timely determinations.  It must be clearly understood that such determinations will not be binding in any way upon the Wilmington District Corps of Engineers without our official confirmation of such determinations.  However, information obtained from a consultant can provide an idea of the extent of waters and wetlands on a parcel of land, and can allow for reasonable judgment as to whether to conclude property transactions.


            It must be further understood that any work completed by a consultant will not be risk free.  The involved parties will have to make decisions based upon the provided information, or wait until Regulatory staff can confirm the consultant’s work within our existing priorities.  In addition, when members of my staff do make a visit, it will only be at the property owner’s (or their authorized agent’s) request and the property owner (or their authorized agent) must be onsite to meet Regulatory staff for purposes of entering upon the private property.


            Although we understand the implications of our position on certain activities and land transactions, we must balance time, manpower, and resources for work of this nature with the everyday demands of active permitting and enforcement actions.

Map of District Regulatory Offices

The Wilmington District Corps of Engineers regulatory permit program has five field offices located around the state. Please contact the field office that services the county in which the activity is planned.   

Visit our Contact us web page to contact project managers by email or phone.