Clean Water Act Section 404 regulates the discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. In general, to obtain a Section 404 permit, applicants must demonstrate that the discharge of dredged or fill material would not significantly degrade the nation's waters and there are no practicable alternatives less damaging to the aquatic ecosystem, so long as the alternative does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences. Applicants should also describe steps taken to minimize impacts to water bodies and wetlands and provide appropriate and practicable mitigation, such as restoring or creating wetlands, for any remaining, unavoidable impacts.
Discharge of dredged or fill materials into waters of U.S. (includes wetlands, defined as "areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas")
Statute or Regulations:
Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq.) Section 404 (33 USC 1344)