The Planning Assistance to States Program, also known as the Section 22 Program, is authorized by Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), as amended. This law provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to assist States, local governments, and other non-Federal entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, use, and conservation of water and related land resources. Section 208 of the WRDA 1992 amended the WRDA 1974 to include eligible Native American Indian tribes as equivalent to a State. Upon written request, the Corps will cooperate with these entities to prepare plans for the development, use, and conservation of water and related land resources within their bounds.
The needed planning assistance is determined by the individual States and tribes. Every year, each State and federally recognized Native American Indian tribe provides the Corps of Engineers with its request for studies under the program. The Corps accommodates as many studies as possible within the funding allotment. Typical studies are only done at a planning level of detail; they do not include detailed design for project construction.
The most common types of studies are water supply and demand, water conservation, water quality, environmental conservation/restoration, wetlands evaluation, dam safety/failure analysis, flood risk reduction, floodplain management, coastal zone management/protection, and harbor/port studies.