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Regulatory Handbook -> Federal Requirements -> Discharge of Dredge or Fill Material Into Water

Discharge of Dredge or Fill Material Into Water

(Department of the Army Permit (Section 404)

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helps protect the nation's waters by regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands and other special aquatic sites, under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Who Issues this Permit?
US Army Corps of Engineers
What Activities Require this Permit?
If you plan to conduct ground-disturbing activities in waters of the United States, including wetlands, you may need authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). A variety of activities typically require Department of the Army authorization when they occur in waters of the United States. They include, but are not limited to, placement of fill material, grading, mechanized land clearing, and redeposit of excavated/dredged material.

The Corps authorizes activities by issuing individual and general permits. Under Section 404, individual permits include Standard Individual Permits, and general permits include Nationwide Permits and Regional General Permits. The Corps determines which type of permit is needed. A Department of the Army permit can include authorization under Section 10 and/or Section 404.

If you have any questions about the Corps permit process, contact the Corps project manager assigned to the county where the work is proposed.

The Corps strongly recommends a pre-application meeting for major projects. During a pre-application meeting you can discuss your project with the Corps and other regulatory and natural resource agencies. If you would like to set up a pre-application meeting, contact the Corps.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
The cost depends on the form of permit, nature of work, and applicant. The fee for Standard Individual Permits is $100 for commercial or industrial activities and $10 for non-commercial activities. No fee is charged to federal, state, or local governments. There is also no fee for Nationwide Permits or Regional General Permits.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) form' is online and can be accessed at http://www.epermitting.wa.gov/site/alias__resourcecenter/jarpa/9983/jarpa.aspx.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
In addition to a complete JARPA form, you should include photographs of the project area, a vicinity map, and detailed drawings that clearly show the project and its location in relation to wetlands, creeks, rivers, and other waterbodies in the vicinity of the project area. Refer to the sample drawings and checklist on the Corps' Seattle District website.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
If Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species or critical habitat may be affected by or occur in the vicinity of the proposed project, the Corps may need to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before making a permit decision. If consultation is required, you may need to prepare and submit a Biological Evaluation describing the impact your project would have on ESA-listed species and critical habitat, and proposed measures to minimize those impacts. Other Federal laws and tribal treaty rights can also affect permit decisions.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
After receipt of a complete application, the Corps' goal is to process the application within the following timeframes:
  • Regional General Permit: 60 days
  • Nationwide Permit: 60 days
  • Standard Individual Permit: 120 days
However, the actual time to complete a permit decision on a particular application depends on the project's complexity, impact on the aquatic environment, affect on ESA-listed species, archaeological and/or tribal issues, Corps workload, and other factors.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Submit your application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the address below.
How Long is my Permit Valid?
The expiration date of a permit is the date by which the work must be completed. Authorization under a Nationwide Permit or Regional General Permit generally expires when the general permit expires. General permits are issued for a period of 5 years, so authorizations are valid for shorter periods of time as the general permit nears its expiration date. Standard Individual Permits are normally issued for 3 to 5 years. In some cases, such as maintenance dredging, a standard permit may be issued for up to 10 years.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
The terms and conditions of a proffered Standard Individual Permit may be appealed by the applicant under certain circumstances. Nationwide Permit and Regional General Permit verifications are not appealable. The Corps' Northwestern Division Engineer must receive a request for appeal within 60 days of the permit decision date.
Notes / Comments:
You might also need to provide the Corps additional information addressing cultural resources, project alternatives, compensatory mitigation and other factors, depending on the location, scope, and nature of your project.

Public Notice Requirements:
  • Regional General Permit: In some cases, a 7- to 21-day notification to certain resource agencies.
  • Nationwide Permit: In some cases, a 10-day fax notification to 4 resource agencies.
  • Standard Individual Permit: 30-day public notice to individuals, organizations, governments, elected officials, tribes, and others on the Corps' mailing list.

Permit Renewal:
You may be eligible to extend the expiration date of a Standard Individual Permit. You must request an extension from the Corps at least one month before your permit expires. Expired individual permits may not be extended.
Statewide Contact:
US Army Corps of Engineers
Seattle District Regulatory Branch
PO Box 3755
Seattle, WA 98124-2255
Telephone: (206) 764-3495
Fax: (206) 764-6602
Website:
* Permit information last updated 12/9/2016
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