For more than 200 years, as the world’s largest public engineering organization, the Corps has had dual military construction and civil works missions. We also respond to natural and national disasters through our emergency management program,
The district’s military program dates back to the Revolutionary War when the Corps played a major role in building and repairing coastal defenses and erecting military fortifications, such as Fort Norfolk, to deter attack. Today, military construction for the Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and the Air Force at eight installations plus Arlington National Cemetery, forms the majority of the district’s design and construction management workload.
The Corps began its water resources program in 1824, when Congress for the first time appropriated money for improving river navigation. This act laid the foundation for the growth of perhaps the largest water resources development agency in the world. Since then, the Corps has been involved in navigation, flood reduction, hurricane response, environmental damage assessment and reducing beach erosion. Corps projects also involve hydroelectric power, water supply studies, and regulatory development in navigable waters, ecosystem restoration, and recreational programs.
One of our most challenging and visible responsibilities continues to be our regulatory program, which covers the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. Competition between development and the environment is intense. Issues range from regional water supply questions, wetlands destruction and expressway expansions, and mountaintop mining, to coal storage facilities. The district evaluates approximately 4,000 permit applications and performs about 3,000 pre-application site visits and jurisdictional determinations each year.
Norfolk District offers environmental planning and engineering services to both military installations and non-Department of Defense agencies. Those services include sampling and field and laboratory analyses, site characterization, asbestos removal, numerical and physical modeling, endangered species, and preparation of National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documents and permits.