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Permitting Process

The Permitting Process typically begins with a receiving a jurisdictional determination on a property to determine if wetlands or other waters are present and if they are regulated by the Corps. If a project will impact a jurisdictional wetland or other water, then a permit from the Corps may be required.  Useful documents, links, and information about Jurisdictional Determinations, Pre-Application Meetings, Permit Exemptions, Nationwide Permits, Regional PermitsIndividual Permits, and the Permit Application and  Permit Resources are available on this page.   Please contact us if you have questions about any aspect of the permitting process.
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A Jurisdictional Determination (JD) is a two step process of 1) identifying and locating jurisdictional Waters of the United States (including wetlands) on a property and 2) determining whether those areas are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Receiving a jurisdictional determination is recommended when planning a project.

Please find below the Jurisdictional Determination Request Form that is necessary for requesting a jurisdictional determination on a property, as well as other useful information regarding wetland delineations and jurisdictional determinations.

Click here to view approved jurisdictional determinations issued by the Charleston District.

Regulatory Authority and Wetland Identification Presentation


A Pre-application meeting is an optional step in the permitting process. Pre-application meetings may be requested for any type of proposed project, but it is recommended for those projects that may be complex and/or potentially controversial.

Please use the below form to request a pre-application meeting with the Corps.  All available project information may be submitted with the request. 

  • Pre-Application Meeting Request Form


Some activities may not be regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and are exempt from permitting requirements. For more information about permit exemptions, please refer to the below documents and links.


The nationwide permits authorize activities that are similar in nature and cause only minimaladverse environmental impacts to aquatic resources separately or on a cumulative basis. Activities ranges from work associated with aids to navigation and utility lines to residential developments and maintenance activities. Every five years, nationwide permits are reviewed and reissued or modified. New nationwide permtis may also be proposed and others let to expire. The current nationwide permits went into effect on March 19, 2012, and will expire on March 18, 2017. Please find below the 2012 Nationwide Permits, General Conditions, and Regional Conditions.

Prospective users should read the below document to determine if submittal of a Pre-Construction Notice (PCN) for use of  a Natiowide Permit is required, in accordance with General Condition #18, prior to commencing work. 

Nationwide Permit General Condition #18 Implementation Document


Additional information on the 2012 Nationwide Permits is available on the USACE Headquarters website.

Information on the 401 Water Quality Certifications and Coastal Zone Consistency Certification Actions is available on the  S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control website.  


Please find below the Charleston District Nationwide Permit Checklists.  The Checklists were developed to assist with determining if a proposed activity qualifies for use of a specific Nationwide Permit.  Please note that Pre-Construction Notifications may be required for the proposed activity.

The Charleston District has developed Regional General Permits to authorize specific activities that cause only minimal adverse environmental impacts to aquatic resources separately or on a cumulative basis. The below Regional General Permits are available for use within the State of South Carolina.

General Public

Duke Energy


Duke Energy General Permit (SAC-2013-00657 through 00669) for use at the following lakes:

  • Wylie (SC)
  • Fishing Creek
  • Great Falls
  • Rocky Creek
  • Wateree
  • Keowee
  • Ninety-nine Island
  • Gaston Shoals (SC)
  • Robinson


Santee-Cooper (SCPSA)

SC Gas & Electric Company

SC Department of Natural Resources

SC Department of Transportation



Projects that do not qualify for Nationwide or Regional General Permits are reviewed as Individual Permits. Individual Permit decisions are made on a case-by-case basis after project evaluation.

Below is the Joint Federal and State Application Form, which is required when applying for a permit, as well as other useful forms and permit resources.  

Charleston District Navigation Study Reports  (These documents are large and may take a few minutes to open)



 Learn more about Wetlands, Streams, and the Regulatory Program by visiting our Interactive Modules