Environmental Activities in Corps of Engineers Water Resources Programs. Charting a New Direction
ARMY ENGINEER INST FOR WATER RESOURCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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The Corps of Engineers water resources development programs have changed significantly over the past few decades, as there has been a shift from creating new water control infrastructure to operating and maintaining the existing infrastructure. New environmental restoration authorities, studies and projects now emphasize management of watershed hydrology to restore hydrologic variability that was often altered past engineering works. Since the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, Corps projects can be formulated exclusively to restore or protect natural conditions in a watershed. The watershed protection theme and the emphasis on minimizing alterations to existing wetlands are especially important in administration of the regulatory program authority given by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. This report describes the historical background for these many changes, and offers a definition of environmental activities and describes how that definition can be integrated into the planning, regulatory, and operation and maintenance programs of the Civil Works program. The report recommends reforms to allow the Corps to better address the emerging National environmental concerns describes some of the actions necessary for renewing Corps leadership in water resources management within the Federal government. Environmental restoration, Water resources policy, Civil works, Watershed planning, Evaluation and decision making, Environmental economics, Environmental planning, Wetlands regulatory reform, Section 404, Operations, Maintenance and rehabilitation.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology