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 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.
Executive Order 14091, Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
This Executive Order builds upon previous equity-related Executive Orders by extending and strengthening equity-advancing requirements for agencies, including establishing equity-focused leadership teams across all federal agencies and directing increased engagement with underserved communities to enable delivery of equitable outcomes in partnership with underserved communities.
Executive Order 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation's Commitment to Environmental Justice for All
This Executive Order builds on and supplements the foundational efforts of Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, as well as earlier Executive Orders signed by President Biden. The Executive Order directs federal agencies to consider measures to address and prevent disproportionate and adverse environmental and health impacts on communities, including the cumulative impacts of pollution and other burdens like climate change. It directs agencies to actively facilitate meaningful public participation and just treatment of all people in agency decision-making. The Executive Order also underscores the vital importance of Tribal consultation and coordination, including to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships on issues involving environmental justice.
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.
- WRDA 2020 Section 160: Definition of Economically Disadvantaged Communities Implementation Guidance Overview (4 May)
- In the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) was directed
to define “economically disadvantaged community” for the purposes of applying several other WRDA provisions – including
ability to pay, pilot programs, etc. Ms. Amy Frantz, HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor, provided an overview of the published
definition of “economically disadvantaged community” and highlighted the provisions in WRDA 2020 and WRDA 2022 that
reference the term.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.