Environmental Operating Principles


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reaffirmed its commitment to the environment by formalizing a set of "Environmental Operating Principles" applicable to all its decision-making and programs.

These principles foster unity of purpose on environmental issues, reflect a new tone and direction for dialogue on environmental matters, and ensure that employees consider conservation, environmental preservation and restoration in all Corps activities.

Sustainability can only be achieved by the combined efforts of federal agencies, tribal, state and local governments, and the private sector, each doing its part, backed by the citizens of the world. These principles help the Corps define its role in that endeavor.

By implementing these principles, the Corps will continue its efforts to develop the scientific, economic and sociological measures to judge the effects of its projects on the environment and to seek better ways of achieving environmentally sustainable solutions. The principles are being integrated into all project management process throughout the Corps.

The principles are consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Army Strategy for the Environment with its emphasis on sustainability and the triple bottom line of mission, environment and community, other environmental statutes, and the Water Resources Development Acts that govern Corps activities. The princples also dovetail with the Corps 12 Actions for Change and specificially with Action Six, Focus on Sustainability.

  1. Strive to achieve environmental sustainability. An environment maintained in a healthy, diverse and sustainable condition is necessary to support life.
  2. Recognize the interdependence of life and the physical environment. Proactively consider environmental consequences of Corps programs and act accordingly in all appropriate circumstances.
  3. Seek balance and synergy among human development activities and natural systems by designing economic and environmental solutions that support and reinforce one another.
  4. Continue to accept corporate responsibility and accountability under the law for activities and decisions under our control that impact human health and welfare and the continued viability of natural systems.
  5. Seeks ways and means to assess and mitigate cumulative impacts to the environment; bring systems approaches to the full life cycle of our processes and work.
  6. Build and share an integrated scientific, economic, and social knowledge base that supports a greater understanding of the environment and impacts of our work.
  7. Respect the views of individuals and groups interested in Corps activities, listen to them actively, and learn from their perspective in the search to find innovative win-win solutions to the nation's problems that also protect and enhance the environment.