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Water Resource Development Acts and other Key Laws

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    The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA '86) and other "WRDAs" are omnibus water bills which provide congressional authorization for Corps of Engineers projects across the nation. The first WRDA was passed in 1974. Prior to 1974, Congress authorized the Corps' flood damage reduction and navigation enhancement projects in the same bill but under different titles, River and Harbor, and Flood Control Acts, respectively. [Source: National Academies Press]

    Water Resource Development Acts Implementation Guidance
    Implementation Guidance provides specific guidance to the field on the implementation of key provisions of law.

    Water Resource Development Acts

    River and Harbor Acts, and Flood Control Acts

    Water Resources Planning Act of 1965

    Laws of the United States Relating to the Improvement of Rivers and Harbors
    In response to WRDA 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has prepared a set of products to update the “Compilation of Laws” of the United States relating to the improvement of rivers and harbors and other water resources development purposes as specified in the Act. Several volumes cover water resources development laws passed from 1790 through 2010.

    Executive Orders and Federal Policies

    Other Key Laws
    • Civil Works Environmental Desk Reference
        A desk-top reference on environmental statutes and environmental executive policy for Corps of Engineers Civil Works personnel.
    • Digest of Federal Resource Laws, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
        The Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a comprehensive list and description of all federal laws under which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service functions; including Administrative Laws, Treaties, Executive Orders, Interstate Compacts and Memoranda of Agreement.
    • Engineer Pamphlet 1165-2-01: Digest of Water Resources Policies and Authorities
        A summary of Corps administrative and legislative water resources policies and authorities.
    • National Environmental Policy Act
        The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. From Scoping to documenting the consideration of environmental impacts and decision-making process in an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment, the NEPA process goes hand-in-hand with the Corps project planning and development processes.


    • Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (7001 Report) (29 July)
      This webinar provided an overview of the annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, also known as the 7001 Report. The presentation covered requirements established in Section 7001 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (as amended), with an emphasis on the proposal evaluation process. Presenter Karla Roberts (Southwestern Division Regional Integration Team) discussed the annual process in detail, including the acceptance of non-Federal proposals, District, Division, and Headquarters evaluation of proposals, and the development of the Report to Congress.
    • Water Resources Development Act of 2020; P.L. 116-260, December 27, 2020 (25 March)
      This webinar focused on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 and WRDA 2020 provisions related to USACE Planning. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, including Division AA, WRDA of 2020, was signed into law December 27, 2020. Presenter Amy Frantz (Senior Policy Advisor and HQUSACE WRDA Action Officer) discussed the WRDA Implementation Guidance process and timeline to help planners understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the new law.
    • Section 401 Water Quality Certification (11 March)
      This webinar provided an overview of the new Section 401 Water Quality Certification Rule and its requirements and was presented by Jamie Higgins (Environmental Policy Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review). Districts must request a water quality certification from the appropriate certifying authority to ensure compliance of a project with relevant water quality requirements. The presentation focused on changes to the Section 401 rule and how they should be implemented in Planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents based on this District requirement.

    • Recent Environmental Streamlining and Risk-Informed Decision Making (One Federal Decision) (1 November)
      Ms. Lauren Diaz (HQ OWPR), with the support of the other environmental reviewers within the Office of Water Project Review (Mr. Mark Matusiak, Ms. Evie Haberer, Mr. Jeff Trulick, and Ms. Julie Alcon), provided an overview of recent initiatives focused on timely environmental compliance, including Executive Order 13807 on "One Federal Decision" and Section 1005 of WRRDA 2014. The webinar tied these initiatives together in the context of risk-informed decision making within the environmental discipline, so that environmental compliance can be conducted in a timely manner and fully integrated into a 3x3 compliant study.

    • WRDA 2016 Section 1184: Consideration Of Measures (7 December)
      Implementation Guidance for WRDA 2016 Section 1184 was recently completed. This provision defines natural and nature-based features and requires USACE to consider these features and measures, as appropriate, when conducting feasibility studies for flood risk management, hurricane storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration.

    • Section 7001: Preparing the 2017 Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (19 May)  Corps Castle
      Lisa Kiefel
    • Preparing and Submitting Proposals for the Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (WRRDA Section 7001) (28 April)
      Lisa Kiefel provides an overview for non-Federal interests for preparing and submitting proposals for the Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development. Additional information on the Report to Congress is available on the HQ website, sions/CivilWorks/ProjectPlanning/WRRDA7001Proposals.aspx

    • Section 7001: Preparing the 2015 Annual Report to Congress (18 June)
      Lisa Kiefel of the Planning Community of Practice provided an update on first-year lessons-learned in developing the Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (per WRRDA Section 7001), discussed newly available online resources to assist with internal and external communication and coordination of proposals, and provided a summary of next steps once proposals are received.
    • Implementation of WRRDA Section 1002 Single-Phase Planning & Notification of Study Schedules (19 February)
      Sue Hughes and Lisa Kiefel from the Planning Community of Practice provided a preview of the changes to the feasibility study process and notification requirements established by Section 1002 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).

    • WRRDA Overview Section 7001: Annual Report to Congress (4 December)
      An overview of recently signed Implementation Guidance for WRRDA Section 7001, which creates a new Annual Report to Congress listing studies and projects for consideration for Congressional authorization.
    • Integrating WRRDA Implementation Guidance & PGN Updates (7 August)
      This webinar was presented by Sue Hughes, PCoP Deputy, and addressed the integration of WRRDA implementation guidance into upcoming Planning Guidance Notebook updates.

 Corps Castle Item is restricted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CAC required. Document will open in a new window.