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Geographic Scope of the Data

Comments on the Proposed Reissuance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits: Geographic Scope of the Data

August 1, 1996

In January, 1996, EWG filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on Clean Water Act Section 404 permits contained the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers RAMS (Regulatory Analysis and Management System) database. This database system is employed by 27 of the 36 Corps district offices in the contiguous U.S., including:

  • Sacramento, covering central and eastern California, Nevada, Utah and western Colorado
  • Los Angeles, covering southern California and Arizona
  • San Francisco, covering northern California
  • Portland, covering Oregon
  • Seattle, covering Washington state
  • Walla Walla, covering Idaho
  • Omaha, covering Nebraska, northeastern Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota
  • Kansas City, covering Kansas and northern and western Missouri
  • Little Rock, covering southern Missouri and northern Arkansas
  • Tulsa, covering Oklahoma and northern Texas
  • Albuquerque, covering New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and western Texas
  • Fort Worth, covering central Texas and a sliver of northwestern Louisiana
  • Galveston, covering the Gulf coast of Texas and a the far western portion of coastal Louisiana
  • St. Paul, covering Minnesota and Wisconsin
  • Chicago, covering the counties surrounding Chicago
  • Detroit, covering Michigan and northern Indiana
  • St. Louis, covering eastern Missouri and western Indiana
  • Memphis, covering small portions of Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi
  • Vicksburg, covering northern Louisiana, western Alabama and southern Arkansas
  • Louisville, covering central Kentucky and Indiana, eastern Illinois and western Ohio
  • Mobile, covering most of Alabama and eastern Mississippi
  • Jacksonville, covering Florida
  • Savannah, covering Georgia
  • Wilmington, covering North Carolina
  • Baltimore, covering Maryland, central Pennsylvania and south central New York
  • Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, a portion of southeastern New York, and southern New Jersey
  • New York, covering eastern New York state and northern New Jersey.

The New England, Norfolk, Charleston, Rock Island, Pittsburgh, Huntington, Nashville, Buffalo and New Orleans, Alaska and Honolulu districts of the Corps either do not use RAMS, or are on a different RAMS system that was not compatible with those of the above districts when this analysis was prepared.

The 27 Corps districts that use RAMS cover the majority of the land area of the contiguous United States. However, there are a number of states for which EWG has no permit data, and other states where data are only partially complete. Table 2 summarizes data for the 28 states covered entirely by Corps districts for which RAMS data were available.

In addition to these states, the majority of the land area of Alabama and Mississippi is covered by Corps districts using RAMS; a few northern counties in those states are covered by the Nashville district, which does not use RAMS. RAMS data are available for almost all of Missouri, for eastern portions of both New York and Pennsylvania, for northern Louisiana, and for portions of Illinois, including the Chicago metropolitan area. For the rest of the states, RAMS data are completely or partially unavailable. Michigan and New Jersey have assumed authority for issuing Section 404 permits in non-navigable waters. RAMS data include permits issued by the Corps, but do not include permits issued by state agencies.