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EPA and Army Propose New "Waters of the United States" Definition

On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army have proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019.  For more information, visit the EPA's Water Rule website at www.epa.gov/wotus-rule .

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Regulatory Program Manager

Suzanne Chubb

(513) 684-7261

District Regulatory Offices

Regulatory Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the responsibility for regulating work in waters of the United States, including wetlands. The goals of this program are to protect the aquatic environment, enhance the efficiency of decisions, and ensure fair and reasonable decisions.

There are three major U.S. Army Corps of Engineer authorities that establish permit requirements:

  • Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, without a Department of the Army permit.
  • Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 prohibits the obstruction or alteration of navigable waters of the United Sates without a Department of the Army permit.
  • Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 prohibits the transportation of dredged material for ocean dumping without a Department of the Army permit.

Regulatory responsibilities are carried out by the seven Districts.  Applicants may appeal standard permit denials and permit conditions, and jurisdictional determinations under an administrative appeal process managed by the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.  

More information is available on the Regulatory Appeal Process, Federal Register Announcement, other Corps Division Appeal Programs and how to get appeal forms.  



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