State Permit Program. The individual states may request to administer the
dredge and fill permit program within their jurisdiction, but only for ultra state
waters. To request this delegation, the Governor of the state must submit a request to
the EPA Administrator which includes a full and complete description of the program the
state proposes to administer. EPA will review the application and statutory authority
of the state, and will notify the Corps of Engineers when the program has been approved.
The Corps of Engineers will transfer to the state pending applications for the state to
issue the appropriate permits.
The state may also elect to administer and enforce the issuance and
enforcement of the general permits issued by the Corps of Engineers. This enforcement
will be effective when the state receives approval of its program from EPA and gives
notification to the Corps of Engineers. Upon receipt of the notice, the Corps of
Engineers will suspend the administration and enforcement of the general permit
activities within the state.
Paragraph 18.5 describes each of the three types of permits - nationwide
permits, regional permits and individual permits and the considerations required of each
type of permit.
EPA guidelines. The EPA dredge and fill guidelines must be used by the Corps
of Engineers to evaluate the effects of the proposed discharge of dredge and fill
material. The fundamental precept of this review is that the discharge should not be
approved unless it can be demonstrated that such a discharge will not have an
unacceptable adverse impact.
Under these guidelines, the Corps of Engineers cannot issue a permit for the
discharge under the following circumstances.
a) No discharge of dredge or fill material can 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.
b) No discharge of dredge or fill material can be permitted if it would
cause or contribute to a violation of any water quality standard, toxic effluent
standard, or any requirement imposed by the US Department of Commerce to protect any
c) No discharge of dredge or fill material can be permitted if it
jeopardizes the continued existence of any listed endangered or threatened species, or
results in the likelihood of the destruction or adverse modification of a critical
habitat. If an exemption for the project is obtained from the Endangered Species
Committee, then the permit can be issued but must contain the conditions of the