33 CFR 331.9 - Final appeal decision.
(a) In accordance with the authorities contained in § 331.3(a), the division engineer will make a decision on the merits of the appeal. While reviewing an appeal and reaching a decision on the merits of an appeal, the division engineer can consult with or seek information from any person, including the district engineer.
(b) The division engineer will disapprove the entirety of or any part of the district engineer's decision only if he determines that the decision on some relevant matter was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, not supported by substantial evidence in the administrative record, or plainly contrary to a requirement of law, regulation, an Executive Order, or officially promulgated Corps policy guidance. The division engineer will not attempt to substitute his judgment for that of the district engineer regarding a matter of fact, so long as the district engineer's determination was supported by substantial evidence in the administrative record, or regarding any other matter if the district engineer's determination was reasonable and within the zone of discretion delegated to the district engineer by Corps regulations. The division engineer may instruct the district engineer on how to correct any procedural error that was prejudicial to the appellant (i.e., that was not a “harmless” procedural error), or to reconsider the decision where any essential part of the district engineer's decision was not supported by accurate or sufficient information, or analysis, in the administrative record. The division engineer will document his decision on the merits of the appeal in writing, and provide a copy of this decision to the applicant (using certified mail) and the district engineer.
(c) The final decision of the division engineer on the merits of the appeal will conclude the administrative appeal process, and this decision will be filed in the administrative record for the project.