Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works

Archived News

Priority Areas

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has designated five priority areas to focus the office’s current efforts.

  • Upgrade the nation’s waterways and ports to strengthen supply chains and economic growth
  • Build innovative, climate-resilient infrastructure to protect communities and ecosystems 
  • Modernize Civil Works programs to better serve the needs of disadvantaged communities
  • Invest in science, research and development to deliver enduring water-resource solutions
  • Strengthen communications and relationships to solve water resource challenges


  • Summary: The policy initiatives to modernize the Corps’ Civil Works program include:

    1. An update to the Tribal Consultation Policy - Completed. The guidance is available here.
    2. Development of comprehensive guidance on the Tribal Partnership Program - Completed. The guidance is available here.
    3. Potential rulemaking on the Regulatory Program’s implementation procedures for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act found at 33 CFR 325, Appendix C - Proposed rule available for review and comment. Information on the draft rule and upcoming webinars can be found here.
    4. Potential rulemaking to develop implementing procedures for the principles, requirements and guidelines - Proposed rule available for review and comment. Information on the rulemaking action is available here.
    5. Finalization of an environmental justice policy, including a definition for purposes of Section 160 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 for the “economically disadvantaged community.” - Environmental justice guidance issued, guidance on WRDA Sections 117 and 160 also issued.

    Summaries of the written and oral comments received on the modernize Civil Works initiative are below. Additional information can be found in the Federal Notice and news release.

    Tribal Consultation Policy

    Tribal Partnership Program

    33 CFR 325 Appendix C

    Principles, Requirements and Guidelines

    Environmental Justice Policy

  • Summary: Army Civil Works is modernizing how we do business with Tribal Nations, including strengthening our Nation-to-Nation relations. Actions being undertaken to improve consultation and relationships include an update to the Tribal Consultation Policy and development of comprehensive guidance on the Tribal Partnership Program. On December 5, 2023, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works signed the Tribal Consultation Policy which reaffirms and strengthens the Army’s commitment to Tribal relationships by solidifying the definition of consultation, clarifying the Tribal Policy Principles, and establishing guidelines to USACE division and district commanders on execution of the policy and education regarding Tribal concerns.

    On November 29, 2022, the ASA(CW) signed guidance for the USACE Tribal Partnership Program. This new guidance directs that the TPP shall be implemented more broadly to include projects that are not typically considered water resources development projects. The guidance can be found here.

    Next Steps: USACE is developing best practice guides to accompany the Tribal Consultation Policy, and developing a consensus model for USACE activities. Other initiatives that will request Government-to-Government consultation in 2024 include a policy statement on Indigenous Knowledge, as well as co-management and co-stewardship of USACE managed lands with Tribal Nations. An overview of our Tribal engagement efforts can be found here.

  • Summary: On July 28, 2022, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works released a memorandum directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advance drought resilience actions across the nation. Examples of recent Corps drought resilience actions were also highlighted in the memorandum.

    Next Steps: The ASA(CW) and Corps will work to continue current efforts and develop robust near- and long-term actions to support drought resilience in states and local communities.

  • Summary: The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works issued interim Environmental Justice implementation guidance to the Corps in March 2022. This memorandum outlined the need to modernize the Civil Works program to better serve the needs of underserved communities. By incorporating environmental justice initiatives into the Civil Works program, the Corps will build innovative, climate-resilient infrastructure that protects communities and ecosystems throughout the country from the impacts of climate change. Army Civil Works is also supporting the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative. Army Civil Works has also issued implementation guidance for Section 160 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 which directed the Secretary to define the term ‘‘economically disadvantaged community".

    Next Steps: On August 18, 2022, the Corps released a list of the programs included as part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. There are 11 covered programs within the Corps, each of which will help to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to environmental justice. Additional information on the Corps' approach to environmental justice can be found here.

  • The Federal Register Notice for Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 Engagement and Review is available at the following link.

    Public virtual meetings were held in May 2022.

  • Summary: The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 provided authorization for the Corps to stand up a federal credit program for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Through WIFIA, the Corps can provide long-term, low-cost loans to creditworthy borrowers for non-federal investments in water resources infrastructure. More information on this program, called the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program can be found here.

    Next Steps: The first notice of funding availability for CWIFP has closed. The program will announce application selections soon.

  • Summary: On August 29, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army (the agencies) issued a final rule to amend the final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule, published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2023. This final rule conforms the definition of “waters of the United States” to the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 25, 2023, decision in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. Parts of the January 2023 Rule are invalid under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act in the Sackett decision. Therefore, the agencies have amended key aspects of the regulatory text to conform it to the Court’s decision. The conforming rule, "Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'; Conforming," published in the Federal Register and became effective on September 8, 2023.

    Next Steps: Please see EPA's Rule Status and Litigation Update page for information about the status of the January 2023 Rule, as amended by this conforming rule, and litigation.


The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works establishes policy direction and provides supervision of the Department of the Army functions relating to all aspects of the Civil Works program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.


Contact us

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)

108 Army Pentagon

Washington, DC 20310-0108