Improvements Needed in the Corps of Engineers' Regulatory Program for Protecting the Nation's Waters

CED-78-17: Published: Dec 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 1977.

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The Army Corps of Engineers has a broad mandate to protect and conserve the nation's waters by approving only those activities such as dredging, filling, and construction that are in the public interest. While some elements of local discretion are necessary in a program of this nature, inconsistencies and variances between the operations of the Corps' districts have been of such magnitude as to hamper the establishment of an effective nationwide program.

The Corp's regulatory program is difficult to manage and evaluate because of its ambiguity, size, diversity, and the variety of approaches the Corps districts use in carrying it out. The headquarters and districts will have management and evaluation difficulties until the Corps: (1) defines the geographical boundaries of the regulatory program; and (2) provides guidelines to the districts to aid in achieving expected program results and interpreting and applying regulations and guidelines.

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