United States Army Corps of Engineers

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers logo.svg
Active11 June 1775;243 years ago (1775-06-11) present
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States of America
BranchFlag of the United States Army (official specifications).svg  United States Army
Size37,000 civilian and military (approx. 2%) members [1]
Garrison/HQWashington, D.C., U.S.
Motto(s)Essayons (Let Us Try)
ColorsScarlet and White [2]
Website www.USACE.Army.mil
Commanders
Current
commander
Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers [3]
Notable
commanders
COL Richard Gridley,
BG Louis Lebègue Duportail,
COL Joseph Swift,
COL Alexander Macomb, Jr.,
BG William Louis Marshall,
MG Richard Delafield,
BG Joseph Totten,
BG Henry Robert,
LTG Edgar Jadwin,
LTG Leif J. Sverdrup
Insignia
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia USACE.gif
Branch Insignia USA - Engineer Branch Insignia.png
Regimental Insignia US-Engineers-Regimental Insignia.png
Army Corps of Engineer Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters 2016.jpg
Army Corps of Engineer Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia
Olmsted Locks and Dam has been under construction for over 20 years under the US Army Corps of Engineers' watch. OlmstedAerial 22May2012.jpg
Olmsted Locks and Dam has been under construction for over 20 years under the US Army Corps of Engineers' watch.
Colonel Debra Lewis, the Gulf Region Division Central District commander with Sheik O'rhaman Hama Raheem, an Iraqi councilman, celebrate the opening of a new women's center in Assriya Village that the Corps helped construct in 2006. Colonel Debra Lewis, a district commander with the Army Corps of Engineers and Sheik O'rhaman Hama Raheem.jpg
Colonel Debra Lewis, the Gulf Region Division Central District commander with Sheik O'rhaman Hama Raheem, an Iraqi councilman, celebrate the opening of a new women's center in Assriya Village that the Corps helped construct in 2006.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge Tauracavor 3 in New York Harbor. Dredge Tauracavor 3.jpg
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge Tauracavor 3 in New York Harbor.
Mississippi River improvement, 1890 Mississippi River Improvement 1890.jpg
Mississippi River improvement, 1890
Proctor Lake, Texas, constructed by the Corps of Engineers to provide flood control, drinking water, and recreation Proctor Lake, Texas.jpg
Proctor Lake, Texas, constructed by the Corps of Engineers to provide flood control, drinking water, and recreation

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) [5] is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command made up of some 37,000 civilian and military personnel, [1] making it one of the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. Although generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works throughout the world. The Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, and provides 24% of U.S.  hydropower capacity.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Construction management (CM) is a professional service that uses specialized, project management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end. The purpose of CM is to control a project's time / delivery, cost and quality—sometimes referred to as a project management triangle or "triple constraints." CM is compatible with all project delivery systems, including design-bid-build, design-build, CM At-Risk and Public Private Partnerships. Professional construction managers may be reserved for lengthy, large-scale, high budget undertakings, called capital projects.

Public works

Public works are a broad category of infrastructure projects, financed and constructed by the government, for recreational, employment, and health and safety uses in the greater community. They include public buildings, transport infrastructure, public spaces, public services, and other, usually long-term, physical assets and facilities. Though often interchangeable with public infrastructure and public capital, public works does not necessarily carry an economic component, thereby being a broader term.

Contents

The corps' mission is to "Deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation's security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters." [6]

Their most visible missions include:

Civil engineering engineering discipline and economic branch specialising in design, construction and maintenance of the built environment

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways. Civil engineering is traditionally broken into a number of sub-disciplines. It is considered the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

Flood control methods used to reduce or prevent the detrimental effects of flood waters

Flood control methods are used to reduce or prevent the detrimental effects of flood waters. Flood relief methods are used to reduce the effects of flood waters or high water levels.

Beach nourishment

Beach nourishment describes a process by which sediment, usually sand, lost through longshore drift or erosion is replaced from other sources. A wider beach can reduce storm damage to coastal structures by dissipating energy across the surf zone, protecting upland structures and infrastructure from storm surges, tsunamis and unusually high tides. Beach nourishment is typically part of a larger coastal defense scheme. Nourishment is typically a repetitive process since it does not remove the physical forces that cause erosion but simply mitigates their effects.

History

Early history

Plan of the military academy at West Point, New York West Point, From Above Washington Valley Concept Plan.jpg
Plan of the military academy at West Point, New York

The history of United States Army Corps of Engineers can be traced back to 16 June 1775, when the Continental Congress organized an army with a chief engineer and two assistants. [7] Colonel Richard Gridley became General George Washington's first chief engineer. One of his first tasks was to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill. The Continental Congress recognized the need for engineers trained in military fortifications and asked the government of King Louis XVI of France for assistance. Many of the early engineers in the Continental Army were former French officers. Louis Lebègue Duportail, a lieutenant colonel in the French Royal Corps of Engineers, was secretly sent to America in March 1777 to serve in Washington's Continental Army. In July 1777 he was appointed colonel and commander of all engineers in the Continental Army, and in November 17, 1777, he was promoted to brigadier general. When the Continental Congress created a separate Corps of Engineers in May 1779 Duportail was designated as its commander. In late 1781 he directed the construction of the allied U.S.-French siege works at the Battle of Yorktown.

Continental Congress convention of delegates that became the governing body of the United States

The Continental Congress was initially a convention of delegates from several British American colonies at the height of the American Revolution era, who spoke and acted collectively for the people of the Thirteen colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. The term most specifically refers to the First Continental Congress of 1774 and the Second Continental Congress of 1775–81. More broadly, it also refers to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–89, thus covering the entire period the Continental Congress served as the chief legislative and executive body of the U.S. government.

Colonel (United States) Military rank of the United States

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and immediately below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

Richard Gridley was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a soldier and engineer who served for the British Army during the French and Indian Wars and for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

On February 26, 1783, the Corps was disbanded. It was re-established during the Presidency of George Washington.

Presidency of George Washington First United States presidential term

The presidency of George Washington began on April 30, 1789, when Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1797. Washington took office after the 1788–89 presidential election, the nation's first quadrennial presidential election, in which he was elected unanimously. Washington was re-elected unanimously in the 1792 presidential election, and chose to retire after two terms. He was succeeded by his vice president, John Adams of the Federalist Party.

From 1794 to 1802 the engineers were combined with the artillery as the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers. [8]

In the early years of the Republic, the United States Army experimented with a number of different artillery formations. For a time, the Artillery Branch and Engineer Branch were combined. Unit designations did not yet contain the terms "Field Artillery" or "Coast Artillery," although units so designated, as well those of the air defense artillery, would eventually trace their lineage and honors to some of the early formations.

The Corps of Engineers, as it is known today, came into existence on 16 March 1802, when President Thomas Jefferson signed the Military Peace Establishment Act whose aim was to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers ... that the said Corps ... shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a military academy." Until 1866, the superintendent of the United States Military Academy was always an officer of engineer.

The General Survey Act of 1824 authorized the use of Army engineers to survey road and canal routes. [9] That same year, Congress passed an "Act to Improve the Navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers" and to remove sand bars on the Ohio and "planters, sawyers, or snags" (trees fixed in the riverbed) on the Mississippi, for which the Corps of Engineers was the responsible agency. [10]

Formerly separate units

Separately authorized on 4 July 1838, the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers consisted only of officers and was used for mapping and the design and construction of federal civil works and other coastal fortifications and navigational routes. It was merged with the Corps of Engineers on 31 March 1863, at which point the Corps of Engineers also assumed the Lakes Survey District mission for the Great Lakes. [11]

In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey. The survey, based in Detroit, Mich., was charged with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids. The Lake Survey published its first charts in 1852. [12]

In the mid-19th century, Corps of Engineers' officers ran Lighthouse Districts in tandem with U.S. Naval officers.

Civil War

Pontoon bridge across the James River, Virginia, 1864 Ponton Bridge across the James River, Virginia 1864.jpg
Pontoon bridge across the James River, Virginia, 1864

The Army Corps of Engineers played a significant role in the American Civil War. Many of the men who would serve in the top leadership in this institution were West Point graduates who rose to military fame and power during the Civil War. Some of these men were Union Generals George McClellan, Henry Halleck, George Meade, and Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, and P.G.T. Beauregard. [7] The versatility of officers in the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to the success of numerous missions throughout the Civil War. They were responsible for building pontoon and railroad bridges, forts and batteries, the destruction of enemy supply lines, and the construction of roads. [7] The Union forces were not the only ones to employ the use of engineers throughout the war, and on 6 March 1861, once the South had seceded from the Union, among the different acts passed at the time, a provision was included that called for the creation of a Confederate Corps of Engineers. [13]

The progression of the war demonstrated the South's disadvantage in engineering expertise; of the initial 65 cadets who resigned from West Point to accept positions with the Confederate Army, only seven were placed in the Corps of Engineers. [13] To overcome this obstacle, the Confederate Congress passed legislation that gave a company of engineers to every division in the field; by 1865, they actually had more engineer officers serving in the field of action than the Union Army. [13] One of the main projects for the Army Corps of Engineers was constructing railroads and bridges, which Union forces took advantage of because railroads and bridges provided access to resources and industry. One area where the Confederate engineers were able to outperform the Union Army was in the ability to build fortifications that were used both offensively and defensively along with trenches that made them harder to penetrate. This method of building trenches was known as the zigzag pattern. [13]

20th century

A bulldozer operated by Sgt. C. G. McCutcheon of the 1304th Engineer Construction Battalion on the Ledo Road, Burma, 1944 Ledo Road, Burma 1944, Sgt. CG McCutcheon of 1304th Engineer Construction Battalion.jpg
A bulldozer operated by Sgt. C. G. McCutcheon of the 1304th Engineer Construction Battalion on the Ledo Road, Burma, 1944

From the beginning, many politicians wanted the Corps of Engineers to contribute to both military construction and works of a civil nature. Assigned the military construction mission on 1 December 1941 after the Quartermaster Department struggled with the expanding mission, [14] the Corps built facilities at home and abroad to support the U.S. Army and Air Force. During World War II the mission grew to more than 27,000 military and industrial projects in a $15.3 billion mobilization program. Included were aircraft, tank assembly, and ammunition plants, camps for 5.3 million soldiers, depots, ports, and hospitals, as well as the Manhattan Project, and the Pentagon.

In civilian projects, the Corps of Engineers became the lead federal flood control agency and significantly expanded its civil works activities, becoming among other things, a major provider of hydroelectric energy and the country's leading provider of recreation; its role in responding to natural disasters also grew dramatically. In the late 1960s, the agency became a leading environmental preservation and restoration agency.[ citation needed ]

In 1944, specially trained army combat engineers were assigned to blow up underwater obstacles and clear defended ports during the invasion of Normandy. [15] [16] During World War II, the Army Corps of Engineers in the European Theater of Operations was responsible for building numerous bridges, including the first and longest floating tactical bridge across the Rhine at Remagen, and building or maintaining roads vital to the Allied advance across Europe into the heart of Germany. In the Pacific theater, the Pioneer troops were formed, a hand-selected unit of volunteer Army combat engineers trained in jungle warfare, knife fighting, and unarmed jujitsu (hand-to-hand combat) techniques. [17] Working in camouflage, the Pioneers cleared jungle and prepared routes of advance and established bridgeheads for the infantry as well as demolishing enemy installations. [17]

Five commanding generals (chiefs of staff after the 1903 reorganization) of the United States Army held engineer commissions early in their careers. All transferred to other branches before rising to the top. They were Alexander Macomb, George B. McClellan, Henry W. Halleck, Douglas MacArthur, and Maxwell D. Taylor. [18]

Notable dates and projects

Gatun Lock construction, Panama Canal, 12 March 1912 Gatun Lock Construction, Panama Canal, March 12, 1912.jpg
Gatun Lock construction, Panama Canal, 12 March 1912
An aerial view of the Kennedy Space Center Aerial View of Launch Complex 39.jpg
An aerial view of the Kennedy Space Center

Occasional civil disasters, including the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, resulted in greater responsibilities for the Corps of Engineers. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans provides another example of this.

Organization

Headquarters

The Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works under the civilian oversight of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). Three deputy commanding generals report to the chief of engineers, who have the following titles: Deputy Commanding General, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operation, and Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations. [23] The Corps of Engineers headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The headquarters staff is responsible for Corps of Engineers policy and plans the future direction of all other USACE organizations. It comprises the executive office and 17 staff principals. USACE has two directors who head up Military Programs and Civil Works, Director of Military Programs and Director of Civil Works.

Divisions and districts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is organized geographically into eight permanent divisions, one provisional division, one provisional district, and one research command reporting directly to the HQ. Within each division, there are several districts. [24] Districts are defined by watershed boundaries for civil works projects and by political boundaries for military projects.

Map of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Engineer divisions and districts USACE-District-Map.jpg
Map of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Engineer divisions and districts

The Engineer Regiment

U.S. Army Engineer units outside of USACE Districts and not listed below fall under the Engineer Regiment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Army engineers include both combat engineers and support engineers more focused on construction and sustainment. The vast majority of military personnel in the United States Army Corps of Engineers serve in this Engineer Regiment. The Engineer Regiment is headquartered at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and is commanded by the Engineer Commandant, currently a position filled by an Army Brigadier General from the Engineer Branch.

The Engineer Regiment includes the U.S. Army Engineer School (USAES) which publishes its mission as: Generate the military engineer capabilities the Army needs: training and certifying Soldiers with the right knowledge, skills, and critical thinking; growing and educating professional leaders; organizing and equipping units; establishing a doctrinal framework for employing capabilities; and remaining an adaptive institution in order to provide Commanders with the freedom of action they need to successfully execute Unified Land Operations.

Other USACE organizations

There are several other organizations within the Corps of Engineers: [5] [25]

Directly reporting military units

Mission areas

Warfighting

20th Engineer Brigade soldiers construct a bridge on the Euphrates River. 20 ENG BDE Bridge.jpg
20th Engineer Brigade soldiers construct a bridge on the Euphrates River.

USACE provides support directly and indirectly to the warfighting effort. [27] They build and help maintain much of the infrastructure that the Army and the Air Force use to train, house, and deploy troops. USACE built and maintained navigation systems and ports provide the means to deploy vital equipment and other material. Corps of Engineers Research and Development (R&D) facilities help develop new methods and measures for deployment, force protection, terrain analysis, mapping, and other support.

USACE directly supports the military in the battle zone, making expertise available to commanders to help solve or avoid engineering (and other) problems. Forward Engineer Support Teams, FEST-A's or FEST-M's, may accompany combat engineers to provide immediate support, or to reach electronically into the rest of USACE for the necessary expertise. A FEST-A team is an eight-person detachment; a FEST-M is approximately 36. These teams are designed to provide immediate technical-engineering support to the warfighter or in a disaster area. Corps of Engineers' professionals use the knowledge and skills honed on both military and civil projects to support the U.S. and local communities in the areas of real estate, contracting, mapping, construction, logistics, engineering, and management experience. This work currently includes support for rebuilding Iraq, establishing Afghanistan infrastructure, and supporting international and inter-agency services.

In addition, the work of almost 26,000 civilians on civil-works programs throughout USACE provide a training ground for similar capabilities worldwide. USACE civilians volunteer for assignments worldwide. For example, hydropower experts have helped repair, renovate, and run hydropower dams in Iraq in an effort to help get Iraqis to become self-sustaining. [25] [28]

Homeland security

USACE supports the United States' Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its security planning, force protection, research and development, disaster preparedness efforts, and quick response to emergencies and disasters. [29]

The CoE conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities — the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act (Pub.L.   84–99), and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Pub.L.   93–288). In a typical year, the Corps of Engineers responds to more than 30 Presidential disaster declarations, plus numerous state and local emergencies. Emergency responses usually involve cooperation with other military elements and Federal agencies in support of State and local efforts.

Infrastructure support

Soldiers assembling sections of a HESCO collapsible barrier device in Fargo, North Dakota HESCOBarrierAssembleFargoMar2409.JPG
Soldiers assembling sections of a HESCO collapsible barrier device in Fargo, North Dakota

Work comprises engineering and management support to military installations, global real estate support, civil works support (including risk and priorities), operations and maintenance of Federal navigation and flood control projects, and monitoring of dams and levees. [30]

More than 67 percent of the goods consumed by Americans and more than half of the nation's oil imports are processed through deepwater ports maintained by the Corps of Engineers, which maintains more than 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of commercially navigable channels across the U.S.

In both its Civil Works mission and Military Construction program, the Corps of Engineers is responsible for billions of dollars of the nation's infrastructure. For example, USACE maintains direct control of 609 dams, maintains or operates 257 navigation locks, and operates 75 hydroelectric facilities generating 24% of the nation's hydropower and three percent of its total electricity. USACE inspects over 2,000 Federal and non-Federal levees every two years.

Four billion gallons of water per day are drawn from the Corps of Engineers' 136 multi-use flood control projects comprising 9,800,000 acre feet (12.1 km3) of water storage, making it one of the United States' largest water supply agencies. [25]

The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), the only active duty unit in USACE, generates and distributes prime electrical power in support of warfighting, disaster relief, stability and support operations as well as provides advice and technical assistance in all aspects of electrical power and distribution systems. The battalion deployed in support of recovery operations after 9/11 and was instrumental in getting Wall Street back up and running within a week. [31] The battalion also deployed in support of post-Katrina operations.

All of this work represents a significant investment in the nation's resources.

Water resources

Removing a hazard to navigation on the Hudson River MV Gelberman USACE Hudson with debris jeh.jpg
Removing a hazard to navigation on the Hudson River
The survey vessel Linthicum in a channel near Fort McHenry Linthicum surveys channels near Fort McHenry.jpg
The survey vessel Linthicum in a channel near Fort McHenry

Through its Civil Works program, USACE carries out a wide array of projects that provide coastal protection, flood protection, hydropower, navigable waters and ports, recreational opportunities, and water supply. [32] [33] Work includes coastal protection and restoration, including a new emphasis on a more holistic approach to risk management. As part of this work, USACE is the number one provider of outdoor recreation in the U.S., so there is a significant emphasis on water safety.

Army involvement in works "of a civil nature," including water resources, goes back almost to the origins of the U.S. Over the years, as the nation's needs have changed, so have the Army's Civil Works missions.

Major areas of emphasis include the following:

Environment

The Martis Creek Wetland Project in California Martis Creek Wetland Project, California.jpg
The Martis Creek Wetland Project in California

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental mission has two major focus areas: restoration and stewardship. The Corps supports and manages numerous environmental programs, that run the gamut from cleaning up areas on former military installations contaminated by hazardous waste or munitions to helping establish/reestablish wetlands that helps endangered species survive. [36] Some of these programs include Ecosystem Restoration, Formerly Used Defense Sites, Environmental Stewardship, EPA Superfund, Abandoned Mine Lands, Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, Base Realignment and Closure, 2005, and Regulatory.

This mission includes education as well as regulation and cleanup.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an active environmental program under both its Military and Civil Programs. [36] The Civil Works environmental mission that ensures all USACE projects, facilities and associated lands meet environmental standards. The program has four functions: compliance, restoration, prevention, and conservation. The Corps also regulates all work in wetlands and waters of the United States.

The Military Programs Environmental Program manages design and execution of a full range of cleanup and protection activities:

A member of the Radiation Safety Support Team, wearing a hazmat suit, tests excavated soil. Test Pit, USACE.jpg
A member of the Radiation Safety Support Team, wearing a hazmat suit, tests excavated soil.

The following are major areas of environmental emphasis:

See also Environmental Enforcement below.

Operational facts and figures

Summary of facts and figures as of 2007, provided by the Corps of Engineers: [25]

Environmental protection and regulatory program

The regulatory program is authorized to protect the nation's aquatic resources. USACE personnel evaluate permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the nation's waters, including wetlands. Two primary authorities granted to the Army Corps of Engineers by Congress fall under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (codified in Chapter 33, Section 403 of the United States Code) gave the Corps authority over navigable waters of the United States, defined as "those waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently being used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce." Section 10 covers construction, excavation, or deposition of materials in, over, or under such waters, or any work that would affect the course, location, condition or capacity of those waters. Actions requiring section 10 permits include structures (e.g., piers, wharfs, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties, weirs, transmission lines) and work such as dredging or disposal of dredged material, or excavation, filling or other modifications to the navigable waters of the United States. The Coast Guard also has responsibility for permitting the erection or modification of bridges over navigable waters of the U.S.

Another of the major responsibilities of the Army Corps of Engineers is administering the permitting program under Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act. The Secretary of the Army is authorized under this act to issue permits for the discharge of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States, including adjacent wetlands. [25] The geographic extent of waters of the United States subject to section 404 permits fall under a broader definition and include tributaries to navigable waters and adjacent wetlands. The engineers must first determine if the waters at the project site are jurisdictional and subject to the requirements of the section 404 permitting program. Once jurisdiction has been established, permit review and authorization follows a sequence process that encourages avoidance of impacts, followed by minimizing impacts and, finally, requiring mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the aquatic environment. This sequence is described in the section 404(b)(1) guidelines.

There are three types of permits issued by the Corps of Engineers: Nationwide, Regional General, and Individual. 80% of the permits issued are nationwide permits, which include 50 general type of activities for minimal impacts to waters of the United States, as published in the Federal Register. Nationwide permits are subject to a reauthorization process every 5 years, with the most recent reauthorization occurring in March, 2012. To gain authorization under a nationwide permit, an applicant must comply with the terms and conditions of the nationwide permit. Select nationwide permits require preconstruction notification to the applicable corps district office notifying them of his or her intent, type and amount of impact and fill in waters, and a site map. Although the nationwide process is fairly simple, corps approval must be obtained before commencing with any work in waters of the United States. Regional general permits are specific to each corps district office. Individual permits are generally required for projects that impact greater than 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) of waters of the United States. Individual permits are required for activities that result in more than minimal impacts to the aquatic environment.

Research

The Corps of Engineers has two research organizations, the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and the Army Geospatial Center (AGC).

ERDC provides science, technology, and expertise in engineering and environmental sciences to support both military and civil/civilian customers. ERDC research support includes:

AGC coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes geospatial information requirements and standards across the Army and provides direct geospatial support and products to warfighters. See also Geospatial Information Officer.

Insignia

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gold castle branch insignia, worn by engineer officers Castle-gold.jpg
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gold castle branch insignia, worn by engineer officers

The Corps of Engineers branch insignia, the Corps Castle, is believed to have originated on an informal basis. In 1841, cadets at West Point wore insignia of this type. In 1902, the Castle was formally adopted by the Corps of Engineers as branch insignia. [39] The "castle" is actually the Pershing Barracks at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York [40]

A current tradition was established with the "Gold Castles" branch insignia of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, West Point Class of 1903, who served in the Corps of Engineers early in his career and had received the two pins as a graduation gift of his family. In 1945, near the conclusion of World War II, General MacArthur gave his personal pins to his Chief Engineer, General Leif J. Sverdrup. On 2 May 1975, upon the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Engineers, retired General Sverdrup, who had civil engineering projects including the landmark 17-mile (27 km)-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to his credit, presented the Gold Castles to then-Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General William C. Gribble, Jr., who had also served under General MacArthur in the Pacific. General Gribble then announced a tradition of passing the insignia along to future Chiefs of Engineers, and it has been done so since. [41]

Controversies

Civil works

Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey (r) discusses U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations in New Orleans with Brigadier General Robert Crear, commander, Mississippi Valley Division, USACE in New Orleans, 2006. Secretary Harvey and Brig. Gen. Crear, Oct. 2 2006, in New Orleans.jpg
Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey (r) discusses U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations in New Orleans with Brigadier General Robert Crear, commander, Mississippi Valley Division, USACE in New Orleans, 2006.

Some of the Corps of Engineers' civil works projects have been characterized in the press as being pork barrel or boondoggles such as the New Madrid Floodway Project and the New Orleans flood protection. [42] [43] Projects have allegedly been justified based on flawed or manipulated analyses during the planning phase. Some projects are said to have created profound detrimental environmental effects or provided questionable economic benefit such as the Mississippi River– Gulf Outlet in southeast Louisiana. [44] Faulty design and substandard construction have been cited in the failure of levees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that caused flooding of 80% of the city of New Orleans.

Review of Corps of Engineers' projects has also been criticized for its lack of impartiality. The investigation of levee failure in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) but funded by the Corps of Engineers and involved its employees. [45] [46]

Corps of Engineers projects can be found in all fifty states, [47] and are specifically authorized and funded directly by Congress. Local citizen, special interest, and political groups lobby Congress for authorization and appropriations for specific projects in their area. [48]

Senator Russ Feingold and Senator John McCain sponsored an amendment requiring peer review of Corps projects to the Water Resources Development Act of 2006, [49] proclaiming "efforts to reform and add transparency to the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receives funding for and undertakes water projects." A similar bill, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, which included the text of the original Corps' peer review measure, was eventually passed by Congress in 2007, overriding Presidential veto. [50]

USACE civil works activities 2005 USACE Project map 2005.jpg
USACE civil works activities 2005

Military construction

A number of Army camps and facilities designed by the Corps of Engineers, including the former Camp O'Ryan in New York State, have reportedly had a negative impact on the surrounding communities. Camp O'Ryan, with its rifle range, has possibly contaminated well and storm runoff water with lead. This runoff water eventually runs into the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, sources of drinking water to millions of people. This situation is exacerbated by a failure to locate the engineering and architectural plans for the camp, which were produced by the New York District in 1949. [51] [52]

Greenhouse whistleblower suit

Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse, a formerly high-ranking official in the Corps of Engineers, won a lawsuit against the United States government in July 2011. Greenhouse had objected to the Corps accepting cost projections from KBR in a no-bid, noncompetitive contract. After she complained, Greenhouse was demoted from her Senior Executive Service position, stripped of her top secret security clearance, and even, according to Greenhouse, had her office booby-trapped with a trip-wire from which she sustained a knee injury. A U.S. District court awarded Greenhouse $970,000 in full restitution of lost wages, compensatory damages, and attorney fees. [53]

See also

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Clean Water Act Primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Its objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters; recognizing the responsibilities of the states in addressing pollution and providing assistance to states to do so, including funding for publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment; and maintaining the integrity of wetlands. It is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws. As with many other major U.S. federal environmental statutes, it is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with state governments. Its implementing regulations are codified at 40 C.F.R. Subchapters D, N, and O.

Jennings Randolph Lake reservoir spanning the border between Maryland and West Virginia, United States

Jennings Randolph Lake is a reservoir of 952 acres (3.85 km2) located on the North Branch Potomac River in Garrett County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia. It is approximately eight miles upstream of Bloomington, Maryland, and approximately five miles north of Elk Garden, West Virginia.

Mississippi Valley Division

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) is responsible for the Corps water resources programs within 370,000-square-miles of the Mississippi River Valley, as well as the watershed portions of the Red River of the North that are within the United States. It excludes the entire watersheds of the Missouri River and Ohio River, and portions of the Arkansas River and the Red River of the South, but otherwise encompasses the entire Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico. The district includes all or parts of 13 states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

The Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899 is the oldest federal environmental law in the United States. The Act makes it a misdemeanor to discharge refuse matter of any kind into the navigable waters, or tributaries thereof, of the United States without a permit; this specific provision is known as the Refuse Act. The Rivers and Harbors Act also makes it a misdemeanor to excavate, fill, or alter the course, condition, or capacity of any port, harbor, channel, or other areas within the reach of the Act without a permit. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 also made it illegal to dam navigable streams without a license from Congress; this included for the purposes of hydroelectric generation, at a time when the electric utility industry was expanding rapidly.

Gavins Point Dam

Gavins Point Dam is a 1.9 mi (3 km) long embankment rolled-earth and chalk-fill dam which spans the Missouri River and impounds Lewis and Clark Lake. The dam joins Cedar County, Nebraska with Yankton County, South Dakota a distance of 811.1 river miles upstream of St. Louis, Missouri, where the river joins the Mississippi River. The dam and hydroelectric power plant were constructed as the Gavins Point Project from 1952 to 1957 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Pick-Sloan Plan. The dam is located approximately 4 miles west or upstream of Yankton, South Dakota.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District

For over a quarter of a century, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, (NAU) has provided both installation and contingency support to U.S. forces throughout the United States European Command area of responsibility. Headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, the district, which is part of the North Atlantic Division, covers a widely dispersed geographic area from Western Europe across Eastern Europe, including Russia, down to Israel and throughout most of the African continent. Work is executed from offices in Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Romania, Italy, Spain, Kosovo, Israel, Bulgaria, and Georgia. In 2009, the district completed more than $1.2 billion in projects including $648 million in military construction projects. The bulk of this work included Army and Air Force Family Housing units, forward operating sites in Eastern Europe, and training and operations facilities. Each project supported the stationing requirements for U.S. military partners in Europe and improved the quality of life for warfighters and their families.

Terminus Dam

Terminus Dam is a dam on the Kaweah River in Tulare County, California in the United States, located near Three Rivers about 15 mi (24 km) from the western boundary of Sequoia National Park and 20 mi (32 km) east of Visalia. The dam forms Lake Kaweah for flood control and irrigation water supply. Completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1962, Terminus is an earthfill dam 255 ft (78 m) high and 2,375 ft (724 m) long. The reservoir has a maximum capacity of 185,600 acre⋅ft (0.2289 km3) of water, although it usually sits at much lower levels.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is involved with a wide spectrum of public works projects: environmental protection, water supply, recreation, flood damage and reduction, beach nourishment, homeland security, military construction, and support to other Governmental agencies. Through 19 Flood Control Acts since 1917, Congress has authorized the Corps of Engineers to be involved with flood protection and damage reduction in almost every state of the union.

The Water Resources Development Act of 1990, Pub.L. 101–640, was enacted by Congress of the United States on November 12, 1990. Most of the provisions of WRDA 1990 are administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Rivers and Harbors Act may refer to one of many pieces of legislation and appropriations passed by the United States Congress since the first such legislation in 1824. At that time Congress appropriated $75,000 to improve navigation on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers by removing sandbars, snags, and other obstacles. Like when first passed, the legislation was to be administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), under its Chief Engineer and the Secretary of War.

The Water Resources Development Act of 1992, Pub.L. 102–580, was enacted by Congress of the United States on October 31, 1992. Most of the provisions of WRDA 1992 are administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Portland District is one of the five districts within the Northwestern Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Portland District is made up of some 1,100 civilian and 6 military personnel.

Richard L. Stevens American military engineer

Major General Rick Stevens is the former Deputy Chief of Engineers and Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was previously the 30th Commander and Division Engineer for the Pacific Ocean Division.

Great Lakes and Ohio River Division

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) is one of the eight permanent divisions of the Army organization, providing civil works and military water resource services/infrastructure. It also supports economically viable and environmentally sustainable watershed management and water resources development in its territory.

South Atlantic Division

The United States Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division (SAD) is one of the eight permanent divisions of the Army organization, providing civil works and military water resource services/infrastructure. lolIt also supports economically viable and environmentally sustainable watershed management and water resources development in its territory.

Pacific Ocean Division

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division (POD) is an Army organization providing Military and Host Nation Construction services, and civil works in the American states and territories in the Pacific: Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Projects include navigation, flood damage reduction, shore protection, and environmental restoration.

Bristol Alliance of Companies

The Bristol Alliance of Companies is the marketing entity for the Bristol companies, which provides a range of services, including civil, structural and mechanical engineering; heavy, civil and vertical construction; environmental remediation; fuel systems; range and unexploded ordnance response services; electrical and telecommunications services; and demolition and site preparation services throughout the United States, its territories and select international locations.

Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System

The greater New Orleans Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) is an infrastructure systems in southern Louisiana which seeks to provide the greater New Orleans area a 100-year level of risk reduction, meaning reduced risk from a storm surge that has a 1% chance of occurring or being exceeded in any given year.

Margaret W. Burcham Brigadier-general in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Margaret W. Burcham is a retired American brigadier general. She was the first female brigadier general in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Salt Creek Dams, {officially The Salt Creek and Tributaries Flood Control Project) are a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water resource development project located in southeastern Nebraska near Lincoln, Nebraska, the state capitol. The project was authorized by the Federal Flood Control Act of 1958 to provide flood damage reduction, water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. The basin drains a 1645 square mile area of southeastern Nebraska, encompassing the City of Lincoln. Salt Creek enters the Platte River from the right bank 25 miles southwest of Omaha, Nebraska and drains the southern and western part of the basin, while Wahoo Creek drains the northeastern portion. The lakes are a part of the Missouri River basin.

References

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Further reading