40 CFR 302.3 - Definitions.

§ 302.3 Definitions.
As used in this part, all terms shall have the meaning set forth below:
The Act, CERCLA, or Superfund means the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-510);
Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”);
Animal waste means manure (feces, urine, and other excrement produced by livestock), digestive emissions, and urea. The definition includes animal waste when mixed or commingled with bedding, compost, feed, soil and other typical materials found with animal waste.
Consumer product shall have the meaning stated in 15 U.S.C. 2052;
Environment means (1) the navigable waters, the waters of the contiguous zone, and the ocean waters of which the natural resources are under the exclusive management authority of the United States under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, and (2) any other surface water, ground water, drinking water supply, land surface or subsurface strata, or ambient air within the United States or under the jurisdiction of the United States;
Facility means (1) any building, structure, installation, equipment, pipe or pipeline (including any pipe into a sewer or publicly owned treatment works), well, pit, pond, lagoon, impoundment, ditch, landfill, storage container, motor vehicle, rolling stock, or aircraft, or (2) any site or area where a hazardous substance has been deposited, stored, disposed of, or placed, or otherwise come to be located; but does not include any consumer product in consumer use or any vessel;
Farm means a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals, including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year.
Hazardous substance means any substance designated pursuant to 40 CFR part 302;
Hazardous waste shall have the meaning provided in 40 CFR 261.3;
Navigable waters or navigable waters of the United States means waters of the United States, including the territorial seas;
Offshore facility means any facility of any kind located in, on, or under, any of the navigable waters of the United States, and any facility of any kind which is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and is located in, on, or under any other waters, other than a vessel or a public vessel;
Onshore facility means any facility (including, but not limited to, motor vehicles and rolling stock) of any kind located in, on, or under, any land or non-navigable waters within the United States;
Person means an individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, consortium, joint venture, commercial entity, United States Government, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or any interstate body;
Release means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles containing any hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant), but excludes:
(1) Any release which results in exposure to persons solely within a workplace, with respect to a claim which such persons may assert against the employer of such persons;
(2) Emissions from the engine exhaust of a motor vehicle, rolling stock, aircraft, vessel, or pipeline pumping station engine;
(3) Release of source, byproduct, or special nuclear material from a nuclear incident, as those terms are defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, if such release is subject to requirements with respect to financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under section 170 of such Act, or for the purposes of section 104 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or any other response action, any release of source, byproduct, or special nuclear material from any processing site designated under section 102(a)(1) or 302(a) of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978; and
(4) The normal application of fertilizer;
Reportable quantity (“RQ”) means that quantity, as set forth in this part, the release of which requires notification pursuant to this part;
United States include the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and any other territory or possession over which the United States has jurisdiction; and
Vessel means every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.
[50 FR 13474, Apr. 4, 1985, as amended at 67 FR 45321, July 9, 2002; 73 FR 76959, Dec. 18, 2008]
Beta! The text on the eCFR tab represents the unofficial eCFR text at ecfr.gov.
§ 302.3 Definitions.

As used in this part, all terms shall have the meaning set forth below:

The Act, CERCLA, or Superfund means the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-510);

Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”);

Animal waste means manure (feces, urine, and other excrement produced by livestock), digestive emissions, and urea. The definition includes animal waste when mixed or commingled with bedding, compost, feed, soil and other typical materials found with animal waste.

Consumer product shall have the meaning stated in 15 U.S.C. 2052;

Environment means (1) the navigable waters, the waters of the contiguous zone, and the ocean waters of which the natural resources are under the exclusive management authority of the United States under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, and (2) any other surface water, ground water, drinking water supply, land surface or subsurface strata, or ambient air within the United States or under the jurisdiction of the United States;

Facility means (1) any building, structure, installation, equipment, pipe or pipeline (including any pipe into a sewer or publicly owned treatment works), well, pit, pond, lagoon, impoundment, ditch, landfill, storage container, motor vehicle, rolling stock, or aircraft, or (2) any site or area where a hazardous substance has been deposited, stored, disposed of, or placed, or otherwise come to be located; but does not include any consumer product in consumer use or any vessel;

Farm means a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals, including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year.

Hazardous substance means any substance designated pursuant to 40 CFR part 302;

Hazardous waste shall have the meaning provided in 40 CFR 261.3;

Navigable waters means the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.

(1) For purposes of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. and its implementing regulations, subject to the exclusions in paragraph (2) of this definition, the term “waters of the United States” means:

(i) All waters which are currently used, 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;

(ii) All interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;

(iii) The territorial seas;

(iv) All impoundments of waters otherwise identified as waters of the United States under this section;

(v) All tributaries, as defined in paragraph (3)(iii) of this definition, of waters identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition;

(vi) All waters adjacent to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition, including wetlands, ponds, lakes, oxbows, impoundments, and similar waters;

(vii) All waters in paragraphs (1)(vii)(A) through (E) of this definition where they are determined, on a case-specific basis, to have a significant nexus to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. The waters identified in each of paragraphs (1)(vii)(A) through (E) of this definition are similarly situated and shall be combined, for purposes of a significant nexus analysis, in the watershed that drains to the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. Waters identified in this paragraph shall not be combined with waters identified in paragraph (1)(vi) of this definition when performing a significant nexus analysis. If waters identified in this paragraph are also an adjacent water under paragraph (1)(vi), they are an adjacent water and no case-specific significant nexus analysis is required.

(A) Prairie potholes. Prairie potholes are a complex of glacially formed wetlands, usually occurring in depressions that lack permanent natural outlets, located in the upper Midwest.

(B) Carolina bays and Delmarva bays. Carolina bays and Delmarva bays are ponded, depressional wetlands that occur along the Atlantic coastal plain.

(C) Pocosins. Pocosins are evergreen shrub and tree dominated wetlands found predominantly along the Central Atlantic coastal plain.

(D) Western vernal pools. Western vernal pools are seasonal wetlands located in parts of California and associated with topographic depression, soils with poor drainage, mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

(E) Texas coastal prairie wetlands. Texas coastal prairie wetlands are freshwater wetlands that occur as a mosaic of depressions, ridges, intermound flats, and mima mound wetlands located along the Texas Gulf Coast.

(viii) All waters located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition and all waters located within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or ordinary high water mark of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition where they are determined on a case-specific basis to have a significant nexus to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. For waters determined to have a significant nexus, the entire water is a water of the United States if a portion is located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition or within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or ordinary high water mark. Waters identified in this paragraph shall not be combined with waters identified in paragraph (1)(vi) of this definition when performing a significant nexus analysis. If waters identified in this paragraph are also an adjacent water under paragraph (1)(vi), they are an adjacent water and no case-specific significant nexus analysis is required.

(2) The following are not “waters of the United States” even where they otherwise meet the terms of paragraphs (1)(iv) through (viii) of this definition.

(i) The following ditches:

(A) Ditches with ephemeral flow that are not a relocated tributary or excavated in a tributary.

(B) Ditches with intermittent flow that are not a relocated tributary, excavated in a tributary, or drain wetlands.

(C) Ditches that do not flow, either directly or through another water, into a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition.

(ii) The following features:

(A) Artificially irrigated areas that would revert to dry land should application of water to that area cease;

(B) Artificial, constructed lakes and ponds created in dry land such as farm and stock watering ponds, irrigation ponds, settling basins, fields flooded for rice growing, log cleaning ponds, or cooling ponds;

(C) Artificial reflecting pools or swimming pools created in dry land;

(D) Small ornamental waters created in dry land;

(E) Water-filled depressions created in dry land incidental to mining or construction activity, including pits excavated for obtaining fill, sand, or gravel that fill with water;

(F) Erosional features, including gullies, rills, and other ephemeral features that do not meet the definition of tributary, non-wetland swales, and lawfully constructed grassed waterways; and

(G) Puddles.

(iii) Groundwater, including groundwater drained through subsurface drainage systems.

(iv) Stormwater control features constructed to convey, treat, or store stormwater that are created in dry land.

(v) Wastewater recycling structures constructed in dry land; detention and retention basins built for wastewater recycling; groundwater recharge basins; percolation ponds built for wastewater recycling; and water distributary structures built for wastewater recycling.

(3) In this definition, the following terms apply:

(i) Adjacent. The term adjacent means bordering, contiguous, or neighboring a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition, including waters separated by constructed dikes or barriers, natural river berms, beach dunes, and the like. For purposes of adjacency, an open water such as a pond or lake includes any wetlands within or abutting its ordinary high water mark. Adjacency is not limited to waters located laterally to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition. Adjacent waters also include all waters that connect segments of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) or are located at the head of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition and are bordering, contiguous, or neighboring such water. Waters being used for established normal farming, ranching, and silviculture activities (33 U.S.C. 1344(f)) are not adjacent.

(ii) Neighboring. The term neighboring means:

(A) All waters located within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark;

(B) All waters located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition and not more than 1,500 feet from the ordinary high water mark of such water. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark and within the 100-year floodplain;

(C) All waters located within 1,500 feet of the high tide line of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) or (iii) of this definition, and all waters within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark of the Great Lakes. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 1,500 feet of the high tide line or within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark of the Great Lakes.

(iii) Tributary and tributaries. The terms tributary and tributaries each mean a water that contributes flow, either directly or through another water (including an impoundment identified in paragraph (1)(iv) of this definition), to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition that is characterized by the presence of the physical indicators of a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark. These physical indicators demonstrate there is volume, frequency, and duration of flow sufficient to create a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark, and thus to qualify as a tributary. A tributary can be a natural, man-altered, or man-made water and includes waters such as rivers, streams, canals, and ditches not excluded under paragraph (2) of this definition. A water that otherwise qualifies as a tributary under this definition does not lose its status as a tributary if, for any length, there are one or more constructed breaks (such as bridges, culverts, pipes, or dams), or one or more natural breaks (such as wetlands along the run of a stream, debris piles, boulder fields, or a stream that flows underground) so long as a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark can be identified upstream of the break. A water that otherwise qualifies as a tributary under this definition does not lose its status as a tributary if it contributes flow through a water of the United States that does not meet the definition of tributary or through a non-jurisdictional water to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition.

(iv) Wetlands. The term wetlands means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater 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.

(v) Significant nexus. The term significant nexus means that a water, including wetlands, either alone or in combination with other similarly situated waters in the region, significantly affects the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. The term “in the region” means the watershed that drains to the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. For an effect to be significant, it must be more than speculative or insubstantial. Waters are similarly situated when they function alike and are sufficiently close to function together in affecting downstream waters. For purposes of determining whether or not a water has a significant nexus, the water's effect on downstream (1)(i) through (iii) waters shall be assessed by evaluating the aquatic functions identified in paragraphs (3)(v)(A) through (I) of this definition. A water has a significant nexus when any single function or combination of functions performed by the water, alone or together with similarly situated waters in the region, contributes significantly to the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. Functions relevant to the significant nexus evaluation are the following:

(A) Sediment trapping,

(B) Nutrient recycling,

(C) Pollutant trapping, transformation, filtering, and transport,

(D) Retention and attenuation of flood waters,

(E) Runoff storage,

(F) Contribution of flow,

(G) Export of organic matter,

(H) Export of food resources, and

(I) Provision of life cycle dependent aquatic habitat (such as foraging, feeding, nesting, breeding, spawning, or use as a nursery area) for species located in a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this section.

(vi) Ordinary high water mark. The term ordinary high water mark means 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.

(vii) High tide line. The term high tide line means the line of intersection of the land with the water's surface at the maximum height reached by a rising tide. The high tide line may be determined, in the absence of actual data, by a line of oil or scum along shore objects, a more or less continuous deposit of fine shell or debris on the foreshore or berm, other physical markings or characteristics, vegetation lines, tidal gages, or other suitable means that delineate the general height reached by a rising tide. The line encompasses spring high tides and other high tides that occur with periodic frequency but does not include storm surges in which there is a departure from the normal or predicted reach of the tide due to the piling up of water against a coast by strong winds such as those accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm.

Offshore facility means any facility of any kind located in, on, or under, any of the navigable waters of the United States, and any facility of any kind which is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and is located in, on, or under any other waters, other than a vessel or a public vessel;

Onshore facility means any facility (including, but not limited to, motor vehicles and rolling stock) of any kind located in, on, or under, any land or non-navigable waters within the United States;

Person means an individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, consortium, joint venture, commercial entity, United States Government, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or any interstate body;

Release means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles containing any hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant), but excludes:

(1) Any release which results in exposure to persons solely within a workplace, with respect to a claim which such persons may assert against the employer of such persons;

(2) Emissions from the engine exhaust of a motor vehicle, rolling stock, aircraft, vessel, or pipeline pumping station engine;

(3) Release of source, byproduct, or special nuclear material from a nuclear incident, as those terms are defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, if such release is subject to requirements with respect to financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under section 170 of such Act, or for the purposes of section 104 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or any other response action, any release of source, byproduct, or special nuclear material from any processing site designated under section 102(a)(1) or 302(a) of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978; and

(4) The normal application of fertilizer;

Reportable quantity (“RQ”) means that quantity, as set forth in this part, the release of which requires notification pursuant to this part;

United States include the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and any other territory or possession over which the United States has jurisdiction; and

Vessel means every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.

[50 FR 13474, Apr. 4, 1985, as amended at 67 FR 45321, July 9, 2002; 73 FR 76959, Dec. 18, 2008; 80 FR 37123, June 29, 2015]

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