Section 404 Permit Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions for Developers and Consultants

Section 404 Permit Key Terms & Definitions

Best Management Practices (BMPs): Schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of waters of the United States. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage. (40 CFR 122.2)

Compensatory Mitigation: The restoration (re-establishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), enhancement, and/or in certain circumstances preservation of aquatic resources for the purposes of offsetting unavoidable adverse impacts which remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been achieved. (33 CFR 332.2)

Discharge of Dredged Material: Any addition of dredged material into, including redeposit of dredged material other than incidental fallback within, the waters of the United States. (33 CFR 323.2(d)(1))

Discharge of Fill Material: The addition of fill material into waters of the United States. (33 CFR 323.2(f))

Dredged Material: Material that is excavated or dredged from waters of the United States. (33 CFR 323.2(c))

Fill Material: Material placed in waters of the United States where the material has the effect of: (i) Replacing any portion of a water of the United States with dry land; or (ii) Changing the bottom elevation of any portion of a water of the United States. (33 CFR 323.2(e)(1))

General Permit: A type of permit that authorizes a category of discharges under the CWA Section 404 Permit Program. General permits are issued on a nationwide, regional, or state basis for particular categories of activities. (33 CFR 322.2(f))

Individual Permit: A permit issued to a specific individual or entity to authorize a specific activity under the CWA Section 404 Permit Program. (33 CFR 322.2(e))

Jurisdictional Determination (JD): A written Corps determination that a wetland and/or waterbody is subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) or a written determination that a waterbody is subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 9 or 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 401 et seq.). (33 CFR 331.2)

Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA): The alternative that causes the least damage to the aquatic environment and is practicable in light of cost, existing technology, and logistics. (40 CFR 230.10(a))

Mitigation: Avoiding, minimizing, rectifying, reducing, or compensating for resource losses. (33 CFR 320.4(r)(1))

Mitigation Bank: A site, or suite of sites, where resources (e.g., wetlands, streams, riparian areas) are restored, established, enhanced, and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation for impacts authorized by Department of the Army permits. (33 CFR 332.2)

Navigable Waters: Those waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce. (33 CFR 329.4)

Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM): That line on the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas. (33 CFR 328.3(c)(6))

Practicable: Available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes. (40 CFR 230.10(a)(2))

Pre-Construction Notification (PCN): A request submitted by the project proponent to the Corps for confirmation that a particular activity is authorized by a general permit. The request may be a permit application, letter, or similar document that includes information about the proposed work and its anticipated environmental effects. (33 CFR 330.6(a))

Single and Complete Project: The total project proposed or accomplished by one owner/developer or partnership or other association of owners/developers. (33 CFR 330.2(i))

Special Aquatic Sites: Those sites identified in 40 CFR Part 230 Subpart E (i.e., sanctuaries and refuges, wetlands, mud flats, vegetated shallows, coral reefs, and riffle and pool complexes). (40 CFR 230.3(q-1))

Stream Channelization: The manipulation of a stream's course, condition, capacity, or location that causes more than minimal interruption of normal stream processes. (33 CFR 322.2(g))

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): The federal agency responsible for administering the CWA Section 404 Permit Program and issuing permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The federal agency responsible for providing oversight and guidance for the CWA Section 404 Permit Program, including the authority to veto permits issued by the USACE.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS): Definition #1: All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide. (33 CFR 328.3(a)(1)) Definition #2: All interstate waters including interstate wetlands. (33 CFR 328.3(a)(2)) Definition #3: All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce. (33 CFR 328.3(a)(3))

Wetlands: Those 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. (33 CFR 328.3(c)(4))

Wetland Delineation: The process by which one determines where wetlands are located on a particular site, including the areal extent of those wetlands. Wetland delineations are conducted in accordance with the Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual (1987) and applicable regional supplements.

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A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.