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]
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
Presidential Executive Orders
The President of the United States manages the operations of the Executive branch of Government through Executive orders. After the President signs an Executive order, the White House sends it to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The OFR numbers each order consecutively and publishes it in the daily Federal Register, and this website, shortly after receipt.
Presidential Executive Orders, Historic
The National Archives maintains Executive Orders beginning with those signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, arranged according to Presidential administration and year of signature.
Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management
The Executive Order, signed by President Carter, outlines procedures to be followed for multiple aspects of floodplain management.
Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands
This Executive Order, signed by Jimmy Carter, outlines procedures to be followed for the protection of wetlands.
Executive Order 12322, Water Resources Projects
This Executive Order, signed by President Reagan, directs efficient and coordinated planning and review of water resources programs and projects by ensuring that any reports, proposals or plans relating to a Federal or Federally assisted water and related land resources project or program is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget before being submitted to Congress.
Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations
This Executive Order, signed by President Clinton, requires federal agencies to make achieving environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations.
Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species
This executive order, signed by President Clinton, requires federal agencies including USACE to meet the National Invasive Species Management Plan goals and established the National Invasive Species Council to oversee implementation of the order, encourage proactive planning and action, develop recommendations for international cooperation, and take other steps to improve the Federal response to invasive species.
Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard
The Executive Order, signed by President Obama, updates EO 11988 and establishes a federal flood risk management standard.
Executive Order 13751, Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species
This executive order, signed by President Obama, amends Executive Order 13112 and directs actions to continue coordinated Federal prevention and control efforts related to invasive species.
Executive Order 13807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects
This Executive Order, signed by President Trump, requires federal agencies to process environmental reviews and authorization decision~ for "major infrastructure projects" as One Federal Decision. This E.O. was revoked by E.O. 13990.
Executive Order 13927, Accelerating the Nation's Economic Recovery From the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities
This Executive Order, signed by President Trump, was issued pursuant to the National Emergencies Act and directs federal agencies to use existing authorities to speed up environmental review processes to alleviate the economic emergency caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This E.O. was revoked by E.O. 13990.
Executive Order 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis
This Executive Order, signed by President Biden, directs all executive departments and agencies to review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take action to address the promulgation of Federal regulations and other actions that conflict with these the national objectives laid out in the Order, and to immediately commence work to confront the climate crisis. This Executive Order also revokes Executive Order 13807 and Executive Order 13927.
Executive Order 13992, Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation
This Executive Order, signed by President Biden, revokes several previous Executive Orders, including Executive Orders 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs), 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), 13875 (Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees), 13891 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents), 13892 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication), and 13893 (Increasing Government Accountability for Administrative Actions by Reinvigorating Administrative PAYGO).
Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
This Executive Order, signed by President Biden, outlines steps to be taken to address climate change and build resilience both at home and abroad.
The Federal Register (the daily newspaper of the Federal government) is a legal newspaper published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Federal Register contains: Federal Agency Regulations; Proposed Rules and Public Notices; Executive Orders; Proclamations; and Other Presidential Documents.
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)
- 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, http://www.usace.army.mil/Mis
- 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 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.