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Pond in winter at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV. Photo: USFWS

Table of Contents

February 5: Virtual Stakeholder Meeting with Corps

The Corps will hold its second "Revolutionize USACE Civil Works Update Webinar" this week on Friday, February 5th at 1-2:30pm ET. The February 2nd session of this webinar was relatively interactive, with the Corps representatives responding to participants' questions. Click here to join the webinar on February 5th, click here to view the webinar slides, and click here for more information.

Call for Input: Take the WPN Member Survey!

Now more than ever, your input is vital to shaping the Network’s activities for this year and beyond. We encourage all members to click here to complete the Water Protection Network Member Survey. Your feedback will help us plan for the Network’s future. Thank you to those who have already completed the survey!

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020

The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020, P.L. 116-260, Division AA was enacted on December 27, 2020 as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus and COVID Relief and Response Act. WRDA bills authorize projects and policy changes for the Corps of Engineers. WPN members worked hard to ensure that this WRDA includes provisions that will benefit the environment, wildlife, and frontline communities, including provisions that:

  • Require the Corps to implement the Water Resources Principles, Requirements and Guidelines (PR&G) and engage the public in that effort. Effective implementation of the PR&G will bring the Corps’ water resources planning process in line with 21st century water resources management principles, and improve water resources planning across the board.
  • Remove barriers to, and drive use of natural infrastructure, including by ensuring that natural infrastructure solutions will benefit from the same cost-share requirements as non-structural measures.
  • Require careful evaluation of natural infrastructure solutions to protect communities from storms and floods, including a robust pilot program that provides full federal funding for flood and storm risk reduction studies for economically disadvantaged communities and ensures that those studies include robust evaluation of natural infrastructure solutions.
  • Require the Corps to update policies on environmental justice considerations and community engagement and consultation, and to expand Corps consultation requirements with Tribal and indigenous groups when working on or adjacent to Tribal lands and areas.
  • Require development of detailed guidance to ensure that feasibility studies and projects carried out by non-federal interests comply fully with environmental laws and Corps planning requirements.

Click here for a summary, from WPN member National Wildlife Federation, of key provisions of WRDA 2020 that benefit the environment, underserved communities, and Tribes; that are particularly harmful to the environment; and that advance restoration of important ecosystems. See the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure’s Section by Section Summary for additional provisions.

The Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus and COVID Relief and Response Act also included the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, affirming the water rights of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Biden Executive Orders

On his first days in office, President Biden has signed many executive orders, memorandums, and proclamations to reverse policies of the former Trump administration. One executive order puts a “regulatory freeze” on rules from the former administration that have not yet gone into effect, giving the new administration time to review such rules. Another executive order requires federal agencies to review agency actions made during the past four years that conflict with the Biden administration’s health, environment, and climate change priorities. The list of actions to be reviewed include many of the environmentally-damaging rollbacks fought by WPN members, including the National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations, Nationwide Permits, Navigable Waters Protection Rule, Clean Water Act Section 401 Rule, and many more.

Learn more:

Yazoo Pumps Update: Conservation Groups Sue EPA, Oppose the Corps' Record of Decision

On January 12, a coalition of conservation organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the former Trump administration’s last-minute revocation of the 2008 Clean Water Act 404(c) veto of the Yazoo Pumps project – an expensive and environmentally disastrous project in Mississippi long opposed by many WPN members. WPN member Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of WPN members American Rivers, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and Healthy Gulf. The Environmental Protection Agency illegally revoked the 2008 veto on November 30, 2020 and on January 15, the Corps of Engineers finalized its Record of Decision approving the Yazoo Pumps.

Learn more:

Corps Finalizes Nationwide Permits 

On January 13, the Corps of Engineers finalized its Reissuance and Modification of Nationwide Permits to revise and replace 2017 Nationwide Permits (NWPs). The finalized changes - opposed by many WPN members and partners - significantly roll back important protections, including by removing restrictions on the extent of impacts allowed and by allowing more activities to move forward under nationwide permits, without going through an assessment of impacts. However, this rulemaking is on the list of former Trump Administration actions to be reviewed by the Biden Administration, in accordance with the Executive Order, "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis." The Water Protection Network will continue to monitor this issue for updates.

Corps Releases 2021 Work Plan

The Corps of Engineers released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Work Plan on January 19. The work plan allocates the remainder of the Corps’ FY 2021 budget not specifically allocated by Congress in the FY 2021 Omnibus and COVID Relief and Response Act.

Learn more:

Recent Public Notices

This is a non-comprehensive list of Corps of Engineers public notices from the Federal Register and Corps district websites, and select notices from other federal agencies. Please visit, Corps division and district websites, and other federal agencies' websites for additional public notices. Click here for examples of comments and letters submitted to the Corps by WPN members.


Corps of Engineers Notices

Other Agency Notices
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