40 CFR Part 230 - Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material

AUTHORITY: Secs. 404(b) and 501(a) of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 U.S.C. 1344(b) and 1361(a)).


Subpart A - General

Section 230.3 - Definitions

For purposes of this part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

  1. The term Act means the Clean Water Act (also known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or FWPCA) Pub. L. 92-500, as amended by Pub. L. 95-217, 33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.

  2. The term adjacent means bordering, contiguous, or neighboring. Wetlands separated from other waters of the United States by man-made dikes or barriers, natural river berms, beach dunes, and the like are "adjacent wetlands.''

  3. The terms aquatic environment and aquatic ecosystem mean waters of the United States, including wetlands, that serve as habitat for interrelated and interacting communities and populations of plants and animals.

  4. The term carrier of contaminant means dredged or fill material that contains contaminants.

  5. The term contaminant means a chemical or biological substance in a form that can be incorporated into, onto or be ingested by and that harms aquatic organisms, consumers of aquatic organisms, or users of the aquatic environment, and includes but is not limited to the substances on the 307(a)(1) list of toxic pollutants promulgated on January 31, 1978 (43 FR 4109).

  6. (Reserved)

  7. (Reserved)

  8. The term discharge point means the point within the disposal site at which the dredged or fill material is released.

  9. The term disposal site means that portion of the ``waters of the United States'' where specific disposal activities are permitted and consist of a bottom surface area and any overlying volume of water. In the case of wetlands on which surface water is not present, the disposal site consists of the wetland surface area.

  10. (Reserved)

  11. The term extraction site means the place from which the dredged or fill material proposed for discharge is to be removed.

  12. (Reserved)

  13. The term mixing zone means a limited volume of water serving as a zone of initial dilution in the immediate vicinity of a discharge point where receiving water quality may not meet quality standards or other requirements otherwise applicable to the receiving water. The mixing zone should be considered as a place where wastes and water mix and not as a place where effluents are treated.

  14. The term permitting authority means the District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or such other individual as may be designated by the Secretary of the Army to issue or deny permits under section 404 of the Act; or the State Director of a permit program approved by EPA under section 404(g) and section 404(h) or his delegated representative.

  15. The term pollutant means dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials not covered by the Atomic Energy Act, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. The legislative history of the Act reflects that ``radioactive materials'' as included within the definition of ``pollutant'' in section 502 of the Act means only radioactive materials which are not encompassed in the definition of source, byproduct, or special nuclear materials as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and regulated under the Atomic Energy Act. Examples of radioactive materials not covered by the Atomic Energy Act and, therefore, included within the term ``pollutant'', are radium and accelerator produced isotopes. See Train v. Colorado Public Interest Research Group, Inc., 426 U.S. 1 (1976).

  16. The term pollution means the man-made or man-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological or radiological integrity of an aquatic ecosystem.

  17. The term practicable means available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes.

  18. Special aquatic sites means those sites identified in Subpart E. They are geographic areas, large or small, possessing special ecological characteristics of productivity, habitat, wildlife protection, or other important and easily disrupted ecological values. These areas are generally recognized as significantly influencing or positively contributing to the general overall environmental health or vitality of the entire ecosystem of a region. (See 230.10(a)(3))

  19. The term territorial sea means the belt of the sea measured from the baseline as determined in accordance with the Conventon on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and extending seaward a distance of three miles.

  20. The term waters of the United States means:

    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;

    2. All interstate waters including interstate wetlands;

    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 including any such waters:

      1. Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; or
      2. From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or
      3. Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce;

    4. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition;

    5. Tributaries of waters identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (4) of this section;

    6. The territorial sea;

    7. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (6) of this section; waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR 423.11(m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States.

  21. The term wetlands means 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.


Subpart B - Compliance With the Guidelines

Section 230.10 - Restrictions on discharge

Note: Because other laws may apply to particular discharges and because the Corps of Engineers or State 404 agency may have additional procedural and substantive requirements, a discharge complying with the requirement of these Guidelines will not automatically receive a permit. Although all requirements in 230.10 must be met, the compliance evaluation procedures will vary to reflect the seriousness of the potential for adverse impacts on the aquatic ecosystems posed by specific dredged or fill material discharge activities.

  1. Except as provided under section 404(b)(2), no discharge of dredged or fill material shall be permitted if there is a practicable alternative to the proposed discharge which would have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, so long as the alternative does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences.

    1. For the purpose of this requirement, practicable alternatives include, but are not limited to:

      1. Activities which do not involve a discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States or ocean waters;
      2. Discharges of dredged or fill material at other locations in waters of the United States or ocean waters;

    2. An alternative is practicable if it is available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes. If it is otherwise a practicable alternative, an area not presently owned by the applicant which could reasonably be obtained, utilized, expanded or managed in order to fulfill the basic purpose of the proposed activity may be considered.

    3. Where the activity associated with a discharge which is proposed for a special aquatic site (as defined in Subpart E) does not require access or proximity to or siting within the special aquatic site in question to fulfill its basic purpose (i.e., is not ``water dependent''), practicable alternatives that do not involve special aquatic sites are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise. In addition, where a discharge is proposed for a special aquatic site, all practicable alternatives to the proposed discharge which do not involve a discharge into a special aquatic site are presumed to have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, unless clearly demostrated otherwise.

    4. For actions subject to NEPA, where the Corps of Engineers is the permitting agency, the analysis of alternatives required for NEPA environmental documents, including supplemental Corps NEPA documents, will in most cases provide the information for the evaluation of alternatives under these Guidelines. On occasion, these NEPA documents may address a broader range of alternatives than required to be considered under this paragraph or may not have considered the alternatives in sufficient detail to respond to the requirements of these Guidelines. In the latter case, it may be necessary to supplement these NEPA documents with this additional information.

    5. To the extent that practicable alternatives have been identified and evaluated under a Coastal Zone Management program, a section 208 program, or other planning process, such evaluation shall be considered by the permitting authority as part of the consideration of alternatives under the Guidelines. Where such evaluation is less complete than that contemplated under this subsection, it must be supplemented accordingly.

  2. No discharge of dredged or fill material shall be permitted if it:

    1. Causes or contributes, after consideration of disposal site dilution and dispersion, to violations of any applicable State water quality standard;

    2. Violates any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition under section 307 of the Act;

    3. Jeopardizes the continued existence of species listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, or results in likelihood of the destruction or adverse modification of a habitat which is determined by the Secretary of Interior or Commerce, as appropriate, to be a critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. If an exemption has been granted by the Endangered Species Committee, the terms of such exemption shall apply in lieu of this subparagraph;

    4. Violates any requirement imposed by the Secretary of Commerce to protect any marine sanctuary designated under Title III of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.

  3. Except as provided under section 404(b)(2), no discharge of dredged or fill material shall be permitted which will cause or contribute to significant degradation of the waters of the United States. Findings of significant degradation related to the proposed discharge shall be based upon appropriate factual determinations, evaluations, and tests required by Subparts B and G, after consideration of Subparts C through F, with special emphasis on the persistence and permanence of the effects outlined in those subparts. Under these Guidelines, effects contributing to significant degradation considered individually or collectively, include:

    1. Significantly adverse effects of the discharge of pollutants on human health or welfare, including but not limited to effects on municipal water supplies, plankton, fish, shellfish, wildlife, and special aquatic sites.

    2. Significantly adverse effects of the discharge of pollutants on life stages of aquatic life and other wildlife dependent on aquatic ecosystems, including the transfer, concentration, and spread of pollutants or their byproducts outside of the disposal site through biological, physical, and chemical processes;

    3. Significantly adverse effects of the discharge of pollutants on aquatic ecosystem diversity, productivity, and stability. Such effects may include, but are not limited to, loss of fish and wildlife habitat or loss of the capacity of a wetland to assimilate nutrients, purify water, or reduce wave energy; or

    4. Significantly adverse effects of discharge of pollutants on recreational, aesthetic, and economic values.

  4. Except as provided under section 404(b)(2), no discharge of dredged or fill material shall be permitted unless appropriate and practicable steps have been taken which will minimize potential adverse impacts of the discharge on the aquatic ecosystem. Subpart H identifies such possible steps.


Section 230.12 - Findings of compliance or non-compliance with the restrictions on discharge.

  1. On the basis of these Guidelines (Subparts C through G) the proposed disposal sites for the discharge of dredged or fill material must be:

    1. Specified as complying with the requirements of these Guidelines; or

    2. Specified as complying with the requirements of these Guidelines with the inclusion of appropriate and practicable discharge conditions (see Subpart H) to minimize pollution or adverse effects to the affected aquatic ecosystems; or

    3. Specified as failing to comply with the requirements of these Guidelines where:

      1. There is a practicable alternative to the proposed discharge that would have less adverse effect on the aquatic ecosystem, so long as such alternative does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences; or
      2. The proposed discharge will result in significant degradation of the aquatic ecosystem under 230.10(b) or (c); or
      3. The proposed discharge does not include all appropriate and practicable measures to minimize potential harm to the aquatic ecosystem; or
      4. There does not exist sufficient information to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the proposed discharge will comply with these Guidelines.

  2. Findings under this section shall be set forth in writing by the permitting authority for each proposed discharge and made available to the permit applicant. These findings shall include the factual determinations required by 230.11, and a brief explanation of any adaptation of these Guidelines to the activity under consideration. In the case of a General permit, such findings shall be prepared at the time of issuance of that permit rather than for each subsequent discharge under the authority of that permit.


Subpart C - Potential Impacts on Physical and Chemical Characteristics of the Aquatic Ecosystem

Note: The effects described in this subpart should be considered in making the factual determinations and the findings of compliance or non-compliance in Subpart B.

Section 230.25 - Salinity gradients.

  1. Salinity gradients form where salt water from the ocean meets and mixes with fresh water from land.

  2. Possible loss of environmental characteristics and values: Obstructions which divert or restrict flow of either fresh or salt water may change existing salinity gradients. For example, partial blocking of the entrance to an estuary or river mouth that significantly restricts the movement of the salt water into and out of that area can effectively lower the volume of salt water available for mixing within that estuary. The downstream migration of the salinity gradient can occur, displacing the maximum sedimentation zone and requiring salinity-dependent aquatic biota to adjust to the new conditions, move to new locations if possible, or perish. In the freshwater zone, discharge operations in the upstream regions can have equally adverse impacts. A significant reduction in the volume of fresh water moving into an estuary below that which is considered normal can affect the location and type of mixing thereby changing the characteristic salinity patterns. The resulting changed circulation pattern can cause the upstream migration of the salinity gradient displacing the maximim sedimentation zone. This migration may affect those organisms that are adapted to freshwater environments. It may also affect municipal water supplies.

    Note: Possible actions to minimize adverse impacts regarding site characteristics can be found in Subpart H.


Subpart D - Potential Impacts on Biological Characteristics of the Aquatic Ecosystem

Section 230.30 - Threatened and endangered species

  1. An endangered species is a plant or animal in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is one in danger of becoming an endangered species in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Listings of threatened and endangered species as well as critical habitats are maintained by some individual States and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior (codified annually at 50 CFR 17.11). The Department of Commerce has authority over some threatened and endangered marine mammals, fish and reptiles.

  2. Possible loss of values: The major potential impacts on threatened or endangered species from the discharge of dredged or fill material include:

    1. Covering or otherwise directly killing species;

    2. The impairment or destruction of habitat to which these species are limited. Elements of the aquatic habitat which are particularly crucial to the continued survival of some threatened or endangered species include adequate good quality water, spawning and maturation areas, nesting areas, protective cover, adequate and reliable food supply, and resting areas for migratory species. Each of these elements can be adversely affected by changes in either the normal water conditions for clarity, chemical content, nutrient balance, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, current patterns, circulation and fluctuation, or the physical removal of habitat; and

    3. Facilitating incompatible activities.

  3. Where consultation with the Secretary of the Interior occurs under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the conclusions of the Secretary concerning the impact(s) of the discharge on threatened and endangered species and their habitat shall be considered final.


Section 230.31 - Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic organisms in the food web

  1. Aquatic organisms in the food web include, but are not limited to, finfish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, annelids, planktonic organisms, and the plants and animals on which they feed and depend upon for their needs. All forms and life stages of an organism, throughout its geographic range, are included in this category.

  2. Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material can variously affect populations of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other food web organisms through the release of contaminants which adversely affect adults, juveniles, larvae, or eggs, or result in the establishment or proliferation of an undesirable competitive species of plant or animal at the expense of the desired resident species. Suspended particulates settling on attached or buried eggs can smother the eggs by limiting or sealing off their exposure to oxygenated water. Discharge of dredged and fill material may result in the debilitation or death of sedentary organisms by smothering, exposure to chemical contaminants in dissolved or suspended form, exposure to high levels of suspended particulates, reduction in food supply, or alteration of the substrate upon which they are dependent. Mollusks are particularly sensitive to the discharge of material during periods of reproduction and growth and development due primarily to their limited mobility. They can be rendered unfit for human consumption by tainting, by production and accumulation of toxins, or by ingestion and retention of pathogenic organisms, viruses, heavy metals or persistent synthetic organic chemicals. The discharge of dredged or fill material can redirect, delay, or stop the reproductive and feeding movements of some species of fish and crustacea, thus preventing their aggregation in accustomed places such as spawning or nursery grounds and potentially leading to reduced populations. Reduction of detrital feeding species or other representatives of lower trophic levels can impair the flow of energy from primary consumers to higher trophic levels. The reduction or potential elimination of food chain organism populations decreases the overall productivity and nutrient export capability of the ecosystem.


Section 230.32 - Other wildlife

  1. Wildlife associated with aquatic ecosystems are resident and transient mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

  2. Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material can result in the loss or change of breeding and nesting areas, escape cover, travel corridors, and preferred food sources for resident and transient wildlife species associated with the aquatic ecosystem. These adverse impacts upon wildlife habitat may result from changes in water levels, water flow and circulation, salinity, chemical content, and substrate characteristics and elevation. Increased water turbidity can adversely affect wildlife species which rely upon sight to feed, and disrupt the respiration and feeding of certain aquatic wildlife and food chain organisms. The availability of contaminants from the discharge of dredged or fill material may lead to the bioaccumulation of such contaminants in wildlife. Changes in such physical and chemical factors of the environment may favor the introduction of undesirable plant and animal species at the expense of resident species and communities. In some aquatic environments lowering plant and animal species diversity may disrupt the normal functions of the ecosystem and lead to reductions in overall biological productivity.

Note: Possible actions to minimize adverse impacts regarding characteristics of biological components of the aquatic ecosystem can be found in subpart H.


Subpart E - Potential Impacts on Special Aquatic Sites

Note: The impacts described in this subpart should be considered in making the factual determinations and the findings of compliance or non-compliance in Subpart B. The definition of special aquatic sites is found in 230.3(q-1).

Section 230.40 - Sanctuaries and refuges.

  1. Sanctuaries and refuges consist of areas designated under State and Federal laws or local ordinances to be managed principally for the preservation and use of fish and wildlife resources.

  2. Possible loss of values: Sanctuaries and refuges may be affected by discharges of dredged or fill material which will:

    1. Disrupt the breeding, spawning, migratory movements or other critical life requirements of resident or transient fish and wildlife resources;

    2. Create unplanned, easy and incompatible human access to remote aquatic areas;

    3. Create the need for frequent maintenance activity;

    4. Result in the establishment of undesirable competitive species of plants and animals;

    5. Change the balance of water and land areas needed to provide cover, food, and other fish and wildlife habitat requirements in a way that modifies sanctuary or refuge management practices;

    6. Result in any of the other adverse impacts discussed in Subparts C and D as they relate to a particular sanctuary or refuge.


Section 230.41 - Wetlands

  1. General.

    1. Wetlands consist of 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.

    2. Where wetlands are adjacent to open water, they generally constitute the transition to upland. The margin between wetland and open water can best be established by specialists familiar with the local environment, particularly where emergent vegetation merges with submerged vegetation over a broad area in such places as the lateral margins of open water, headwaters, rainwater catch basins, and groundwater seeps. The landward margin of wetlands also can best be identified by specialists familiar with the local environment when vegetation from the two regions merges over a broad area.

    3. Wetland vegetation consists of plants that require saturated soils to survive (obligate wetland plants) as well as plants, including certain trees, that gain a competitive advantage over others because they can tolerate prolonged wet soil conditions and their competitors cannot. In addition to plant populations and communities, wetlands are delimited by hydrological and physical characteristics of the environment. These characteristics should be considered when information about them is needed to supplement information available about vegetation, or where wetland vegetation has been removed or is dormant.

  2. Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material in wetlands is likely to damage or destroy habitat and adversely affect the biological productivity of wetlands ecosystems by smothering, by dewatering, by permanently flooding, or by altering substrate elevation or periodicity of water movement. The addition of dredged or fill material may destroy wetland vegetation or result in advancement of succession to dry land species. It may reduce or eliminate nutrient exchange by a reduction of the system's productivity, or by altering current patterns and velocities. Disruption or elimination of the wetland system can degrade water quality by obstructing circulation patterns that flush large expanses of wetland systems, by interfering with the filtration function of wetlands, or by changing the aquifer recharge capability of a wetland. Discharges can also change the wetland habitat value for fish and wildlife as discussed in Subpart D. When disruptions in flow and circulation patterns occur, apparently minor loss of wetland acreage may result in major losses through secondary impacts. Discharging fill material in wetlands as part of municipal, industrial or recreational development may modify the capacity of wetlands to retain and store floodwaters and to serve as a buffer zone shielding upland areas from wave actions, storm damage and erosion.


Section 230.42 - Mud flats

    Mud flats are broad flat areas along the sea coast and in coastal rivers to the head of tidal influence and in inland lakes, ponds, and riverine systems. When mud flats are inundated, wind and wave action may resuspend bottom sediments. Coastal mud flats are exposed at extremely low tides and inundated at high tides with the water table at or near the surface of the substrate. The substrate of mud flats contains organic material and particles smaller in size than sand. They are either unvegetated or vegetated only by algal mats.

    Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material can cause changes in water circulation patterns which may permanently flood or dewater the mud flat or disrupt periodic inundation, resulting in an increase in the rate of erosion or accretion. Such changes can deplete or eliminate mud flat biota, foraging areas, and nursery areas. Changes in inundation patterns can affect the chemical and biological exchange and decomposition process occurring on the mud flat and change the deposition of suspended material affecting the productivity of the area. Changes may reduce the mud flat's capacity to dissipate storm surge runoff.


Subpart E - Potential Impacts on Special Aquatic Sites

Section 230.43 - Vegetated shallows

  1. Vegetated shallows are permanently inundated areas that under normal circumstances support communities of rooted aquatic vegetation, such as turtle grass and eelgrass in estuarine or marine systems as well as a number of freshwater species in rivers and lakes.

  2. Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material can smother vegetation and benthic organisms. It may also create unsuitable conditions for their continued vigor by:

    1. (1) Changing water circulation patterns;
    2. (2) releasing nutrients that increase undesirable algal populations;
    3. (3) releasing chemicals that adversely affect plants and animals;
    4. (4) increasing turbidity levels, thereby reducing light penetration and hence photosynthesis; and
    5. (5) changing the capacity of a vegetated shallow to stabilize bottom materials and decrease channel shoaling. The discharge of dredged or fill material may reduce the value of vegetated shallows as nesting, spawning, nursery, cover, and forage areas, as well as their value in protecting shorelines from erosion and wave actions. It may also encourage the growth of nuisance vegetation.


Section 230.44 - Coral reefs

  1. (a) Coral reefs consist of the skeletal deposit, usually of calcareous or silicaceous materials, produced by the vital activities of anthozoan polyps or other invertebrate organisms present in growing portions of the reef.

  2. (b) Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or fill material can adversely affect colonies of reef building organisms by burying them, by releasing contaminants such as hydrocarbons into the water column, by reducing light penetration through the water, and by increasing the level of suspended particulates. Coral organisms are extremely sensitive to even slight reductions in light penetration or increases in suspended particulates. These adverse effects will cause a loss of productive colonies which in turn provide habitat for many species of highly specialized aquatic organisms.


Section 230.45 - Riffle and pool complexes

  1. (a) Steep gradient sections of streams are sometimes characterized by riffle and pool complexes. Such stream sections are recognizable by their hydraulic characteristics. The rapid movement of water over a coarse substrate in riffles results in a rough flow, a turbulent surface, and high dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Pools are deeper areas associated with riffles. Pools are characterized by a slower stream velocity, a steaming flow, a smooth surface, and a finer substrate. Riffle and pool complexes are particularly valuable habitat for fish and wildlife.

  2. (b) Possible loss of values: Discharge of dredged or fill material can eliminate riffle and pool areas by displacement, hydrologic modification, or sedimentation. Activities which affect riffle and pool areas and especially riffle/pool ratios, may reduce the aeration and filtration capabilities at the discharge site and downstream, may reduce stream habitat diversity, and may retard repopulation of the disposal site and downstream waters through sedimentation and the creation of unsuitable habitat. The discharge of dredged or fill material which alters stream hydrology may cause scouring or sedimentation of riffles and pools. Sedimentation induced through hydrological modification or as a direct result of the deposition of unconsolidated dredged or fill material may clog riffle and pool areas, destroy habitats, and create anaerobic conditions. Eliminating pools and meanders by the discharge of dredged or fill material can reduce water holding capacity of streams and cause rapid runoff from a watershed. Rapid runoff can deliver large quantities of flood water in a short time to downstream areas resulting in the destruction of natural habitat, high property loss, and the need for further hydraulic modification.

Note: Possible actions to minimize adverse impacts on site or material characteristics can be found in Subpart H.


Subpart H - Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects

Note: There are many actions which can be undertaken in response to 203.10(d) to minimize the adverse effects of discharges of dredged or fill material. Some of these, grouped by type of activity, are listed in this subpart.

Section 230.74 - Actions related to technology

Discharge technology should be adapted to the needs of each site. In determining whether the discharge operation sufficiently minimizes adverse environmental impacts, the applicant should consider:

  1. (a) Using appropriate equipment or machinery, including protective devices, and the use of such equipment or machinery in activities related to the discharge of dredged or fill material;

  2. (b) Employing appropriate maintenance and operation on equipment or machinery, including adequate training, staffing, and working procedures;

  3. (c) Using machinery and techniques that are especially designed to reduce damage to wetlands. This may include machines equipped with devices that scatter rather than mound excavated materials, machines with specially designed wheels or tracks, and the use of mats under heavy machines to reduce wetland surface compaction and rutting;

  4. (d) Designing access roads and channel spanning structures using culverts, open channels, and diversions that will pass both low and high water flows, accommodate fluctuating water levels, and maintain circulation and faunal movement;

  5. (e) Employing appropriate machinery and methods of transport of the material for discharge.


Subpart I - Planning To Shorten Permit Processing Time

Section 230.80 - Advanced identification of disposal areas

  1. (a) Consistent with these Guidelines, EPA and the permitting authority, on their own initiative or at the request of any other party and after consultation with any affected State that is not the permitting authority, may identify sites which will be considered as:

    1. (1) Possible future disposal sites, including existing disposal sites and non-sensitive areas; or

    2. (2) Areas generally unsuitable for disposal site specification;

  2. (b) The identification of any area as a possible future disposal site should not be deemed to constitute a permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material within such area or a specification of a disposal site. The identification of areas that generally will not be available for disposal site specification should not be deemed as prohibiting applications for permits to discharge dredged or fill material in such areas. Either type of identification constitutes information to facilitate individual or General permit application and processing.

  3. (c) An appropriate public notice of the proposed identification of such areas shall be issued;

  4. (d) To provide the basis for advanced identification of disposal areas, and areas unsuitable for disposal, EPA and the permitting authority shall consider the likelihood that use of the area in question for dredged or fill material disposal will comply with these Guidelines. To facilitate this analysis, EPA and the permitting authority should review available water resources management data including data available from the public, other Federal and State agencies, and information from approved Coastal Zone Management programs and River Basin Plans;

  5. (e) The permitting authority should maintain a public record of the identified areas and a written statement of the basis for identification.


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