33 CFR 320.1 - Purpose and scope.

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§ 320.1 Purpose and scope.

(a)Regulatory approach of the Corps of Engineers.

(1) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved in regulating certain activities in the nation's waters since 1890. Until 1968, the primary thrust of the Corps' regulatory program was the protection of navigation. As a result of several new laws and judicial decisions, the program has evolved to one involving the consideration of the full public interest by balancing the favorable impacts against the detrimental impacts. This is known as the “public interest review.” The program is one which reflects the national concerns for both the protection and utilization of important resources.

(2) The Corps is a highly decentralized organization. Most of the authority for administering the regulatory program has been delegated to the thirty-six district engineers and eleven division engineers. A district engineer's decision on an approved jurisdictional determination, a permit denial, or a declined individual permit is subject to an administrative appeal by the affected party in accordance with the procedures and authorities contained in 33 CFR part 331. Such administrative appeal must meet the criteria in 33 CFR 331.5; otherwise, no administrative appeal of that decision is allowed. The terms “approved jurisdictional determination,” “permit denial,” and “declined permit” are defined at 33 CFR 331.2. There shall be no administrative appeal of any issued individual permit that an applicant has accepted, unless the authorized work has not started in waters of the United States, and that issued permit is subsequently modified by the district engineer pursuant to 33 CFR 325.7 (see 33 CFR 331.5(b)(1)). An affected party must exhaust any administrative appeal available pursuant to 33 CFR part 331 and receive a final Corps decision on the appealed action prior to filing a lawsuit in the Federal courts (see 33 CFR 331.12).

(3) The Corps seeks to avoid unnecessary regulatory controls. The general permit program described in 33 CFR parts 325 and 330 is the primary method of eliminating unnecessary federal control over activities which do not justify individual control or which are adequately regulated by another agency.

(4) The Corps is neither a proponent nor opponent of any permit proposal. However, the Corps believes that applicants are due a timely decision. Reducing unnecessary paperwork and delays is a continuing Corps goal.

(5) The Corps believes that state and federal regulatory programs should complement rather than duplicate one another. The Corps uses general permits, joint processing procedures, interagency review, coordination, and authority transfers (where authorized by law) to reduce duplication.

(6) The Corps has authorized its district engineers to issue formal determinations concerning the applicability of the

Clean Water Act
or the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 to activities or tracts of land and the applicability of general permits or statutory exemptions to proposed activities. A determination pursuant to this authorization shall constitute a Corps final agency action. Nothing contained in this section is intended to affect any authority EPA has under the
Clean Water Act

(b)Types of activities regulated. This part and the parts that follow ( 33 CFR parts 321 through 330) prescribe the statutory authorities, and general and special policies and procedures applicable to the review of applications for

Department of the Army
(DA) permits for controlling certain activities in waters of the United States or the oceans. This part identifies the various federal statutes which require that DA permits be issued before these activities can be lawfully undertaken; and related Federal laws and the general policies applicable to the review of those activities. Parts 321 through 324 and 330 address special policies and procedures applicable to the following specific classes of activities:

(1) Dams or dikes in navigable waters of the United States (part 321);

(2) Other structures or work including excavation, dredging, and/or disposal activities, in navigable waters of the United States (part 322);

(3) Activities that alter or modify the course, condition, location, or capacity of a navigable water of the United States (part 322);

(4) Construction of artificial islands, installations, and other devices on the outer continental shelf (part 322);

(5) Discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States (part 323);

(6) Activities involving the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposal in ocean waters (part 324); and

(7) Nationwide general permits for certain categories of activities (part 330).

(c)Forms of authorization. DA permits for the above described activities are issued under various forms of authorization. These include individual permits that are issued following a review of individual applications and general permits that authorize a category or categories of activities in specific geographical regions or nationwide. The term “general permit” as used in these regulations ( 33 CFR parts 320 through 330) refers to both those regional permits issued by district or division engineers on a regional basis and to nationwide permits which are issued by the Chief of Engineers through publication in the Federal Register and are applicable throughout the nation. The nationwide permits are found in 33 CFR part 330. If an activity is covered by a general permit, an application for a DA permit does not have to be made. In such cases, a person must only comply with the conditions contained in the general permit to satisfy requirements of law for a DA permit. In certain cases pre-notification may be required before initiating construction. (See 33 CFR 330.7)

(d)General instructions. General policies for evaluating permit applications are found in this part. Special policies that relate to particular activities are found in parts 321 through 324. The procedures for processing individual permits and general permits are contained in 33 CFR part 325. The terms “navigable waters of the United States” and “waters of the United States” are used frequently throughout these regulations, and it is important from the outset that the reader understand the difference between the two. “Navigable waters of the United States” are defined in 33 CFR part 329. These are waters that are navigable in the traditional sense where permits are required for certain work or structures pursuant to Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. “Waters of the United States” are defined in 33 CFR part 328. These waters include more than navigable waters of the United States and are the waters where permits are required for the discharge of dredged or fill material pursuant to section 404 of the

Clean Water Act

[ 51 FR 41220, Nov. 13, 1986, as amended at 64 FR 11714, Mar. 9, 1999; 65 FR 16492, Mar. 28, 2000]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code

§ 401 - Construction of bridges, causeways, dams or dikes generally; exemptions

§ 402 - Construction of bridges, etc., over Illinois and Mississippi Canal

§ 403 - Obstruction of navigable waters generally; wharves; piers, etc.; excavations and filling in

§ 403a - Creation or continuance of obstruction of navigable waters

§ 403b - Lighting at docks and boat launching facilities

§ 404 - Establishment of harbor lines; conditions to grants for extension of piers, etc.

§ 405 - Establishment and modification of harbor lines on Potomac and Anacostia Rivers

§ 406 - Penalty for wrongful construction of bridges, piers, etc.; removal of structures

§ 407 - Deposit of refuse in navigable waters generally

§ 407a - Deposit of debris of mines and stamp works

§ 408 - Taking possession of, use of, or injury to harbor or river improvements

§ 409 - Obstruction of navigable waters by vessels; floating timber; marking and removal of sunken vessels

§ 410 - Exception as to floating loose timber, sack rafts, etc.; violation of regulations; penalty

§ 411 - Penalty for wrongful deposit of refuse; use of or injury to harbor improvements, and obstruction of navigable waters generally

§ 412 - Liability of masters, pilots, etc., and of vessels engaged in violations

§ 413 - Duty of United States attorneys and other Federal officers in enforcement of provisions; arrest of offenders

§ 414 - Removal by Secretary of the Army of sunken water craft generally; liability of owner, lessee, or operator

§ 415 - Summary removal of water craft obstructing navigation; liability of owner, lessee, or operator

§ 416 - Appropriations for removal of sunken water craft

§ 417 - Expenses of investigations by Department of the Army

§ 418 - Provisions for protection of New York Harbor unaffected

§ 419 - Regulation by Secretary governing transportation and dumping of dredgings, refuse, etc., into navigable waters; oyster lands; appropriations

§ 419a - Management practices to extend capacity and useful life of dredged material disposal areas

§ 420 - Piers and cribs on Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers

§ 421 - Deposit of refuse, etc., in Lake Michigan near Chicago

§ 422 - Modification and extension of harbor lines at Chicago

§ 423 - Establishment of pierhead and bulkhead lines in Wilmington Harbor, California

§ 424 - Establishment of pierhead or bulkhead lines in Newport Harbor, California

§ 424a - Modification of harbor lines in Newport Harbor, California

§ 425 - Omitted

§ 426 - Investigations concerning erosion of shores of coastal and lake waters

§ 426-1 - Coastal Engineering Research Center; establishment; powers and functions

§ 426-2 - Board on Coastal Engineering Research

§ 426-3 - Transfer of functions of Beach Erosion Board

§ 426a - Additional investigations concerning erosion of shores of coastal and lake waters; payment of costs; “shores” defined

§ 426b - Applicability of existing laws; projects referred to Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors

§ 426c - Report by Coastal Engineering Research Center

§ 426d - Payment of expenses

§ 426e - Federal aid in protection of shores

§ 426e-1 - Shore protection projects

§ 426f - Reimbursements

§ 426g - Storm and hurricane restoration and impact minimization program

§ 426g-1 - State and regional plans

§ 426h - Repealed. Pub. L. 110–114, title II, § 2038(b), Nov. 8, 2007, 121 Stat. 1100

§ 426h-1 - Definitions

§ 426i - Shore damage prevention or mitigation

33 U.S. Code § 426i–1 - Repealed. Pub. L. 113–121, title I, § 1014(c)(2), June 10, 2014, 128 Stat. 1222

§ 426i-2

§ 426j - Repealed. Pub. L. 110–114, title II, § 2037(b)(1), Nov. 8, 2007, 121 Stat. 1096

§ 426k - Five year demonstration program to temporarily increase diversion of water from Lake Michigan at Chicago, Illinois

§ 426l - Protection of Lake Ontario

§ 426m - Collection and removal of drift and debris from publicly maintained commercial boat harbors and adjacent land and water areas

§ 426n - Technical assistance to States and local governments; cost sharing

§ 426o - Great Lakes material disposal

§ 426o-1 - Great Lakes dredging levels adjustment

§ 426o-2 - Great Lakes navigation and protection

§ 426p - Corps of Engineers

§ 427 to 430 - Repealed. July 31, 1945, ch. 334, § 5, 59 Stat. 508

§ 1344 - Permits for dredged or fill material

§ 1413 - Dumping permit program for dredged mate­rial