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Summary of Permits for Clean Water Act / Rivers & Harbors Act

Aside from the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, in many states there are several permitting requirements associated with wetlands or work in streams, along stream banks, or in floodplains. You should check with your state and local authorities regarding these requirements before undertaking any work in these areas.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Administered Permits

Permits RequiredActivities Covered
Section 10, Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899Building of any structure in the channel or along the banks of navigable waters of the U.S. that changes the course, conditions, location or capacity
Section 404, Federal Clean Water Act Letters of PermissionMinor or routine work with minimum impacts
Nationwide Permit 3Repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of structures destroyed by storms or floods in past 2 years
Nationwide Permit 13Bank stabilization less than 500 feet in length solely for erosion protection
Nationwide Permit 26Filling of up to 1 acre of a non-tidal wetland or less than 500 linear feet of a non-tidal stream that is either isolated from other surface waters or upstream of the point in a drainage network where the average annual flow is less than 5 cfs
Nationwide Permit 27Restoration of natural wetland hydrology, vegetation, and function to altered and degraded non-tidal wetlands, and restoration of natural functions of riparian areas on private lands, provided a wetland restoration or creation agreement has been developed
Regional PermitsSmall projects with insignificant environmental impacts
Individual PermitsProposed filling or excavation that causes severe impacts but for which no practical alternative exists; may require an environmental assessment under NEPA

State Agency Administered Permits

Permits RequiredActivities Covered
Section 401, Federal Clean Water ActWater quality certification
Section 402, Federal Clean Water Act, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)Point source discharges, as well as non-point discharges