Regulatory Branch

Contact Information


(314) 331-8575

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District
Regulatory Division
1222 Spruce Street
St. Louis MO 63103-2833

Tell Us How We Did...

Regulatory FAQ

When should I apply for a permit?

Apply as early as possible to be sure you have all required approvals before your planned project start date. For a large or complex activity that may take longer, it is often helpful to have a Pre-Application Meeting with the Corps during the early planning phase of your project. You may receive helpful information at this point, which could prevent delays later. When in doubt as to whether a permit may be required or what you need to do, don't hesitate to call the District Regulatory Office.

How can I design my project to eliminate the need for a Corps Permit?

  • The best way to avoid the need for a permit is to select a site that is above the ordinary high water mark and avoid wetlands adjacent to a stream or lake.
  • It may be possible that your activity is exempt and does not need a Corps Permit.
  • Minor activities may be authorized by a Nationwide or a Regional General Permit.

So, before you build, dredge, or fill, contact the Corps Regulatory Office in your area for specific information about location, exemptions, and general permits.

Why should I waste my time and yours by applying for a permit when you probably won't let me do the work anyway?

Nationwide, less than one percent of all requests for permits are denied. Those few applicants who have been denied permits usually have refused to avoid and minimized impacts of the project (ex. change the design, timing, or location of the proposed activity). When a permit is denied, an applicant may redesign the project and submit a new application. To avoid unnecessary delays, Pre-Application Meetings, particularly for applications for major activities, are recommended. The Corps will endeavor to give you helpful information, including factors which will be considered during the public interest review, and alternatives to consider that may prove to be useful in designing a project.

What will happen if I do work without getting a permit from the Corps?

Performing unauthorized work in waters of the United States or failure to comply with the terms of a valid permit can have serious consequences. You would be in violation of federal law and could face penalties including fines and/or requirements to restore the area. 

Enforcement is an important part of the Corps Regulatory Program. Corps surveillance and monitoring activities are often aided by various agencies, groups, and individuals, who report suspected violations. When in doubt as to whether a planned activity needs a permit, contact the nearest District Regulatory Office.