The purpose of Corps of Engineers' regulatory program is to protect the nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the nation's waters, including wetlands.
The Corps' regulatory program includes Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The St. Paul District's regulatory jurisdiction covers the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Under Section 10, a Corps permit is required to do any work in, over or under a 'Navigable Water of the U.S.' Waterbodies have been designated as 'Navigable Waters of the U.S.' based on their past, present or potential use for transportation for interstate commerce.
Under Section 404, a Corps permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. Many waterbodies and wetlands in the nation are waters of the U.S. and are subject to the Corps' Section 404 regulatory authority.