33 U.S.C. § 1344 : US Code - Section 1344: Permits for dredged or fill material

    (a) Discharge into navigable waters at specified disposal sites
      The Secretary may issue permits, after notice and opportunity for
    public hearings for the discharge of dredged or fill material into
    the navigable waters at specified disposal sites. Not later than
    the fifteenth day after the date an applicant submits all the
    information required to complete an application for a permit under
    this subsection, the Secretary shall publish the notice required by
    this subsection.
    (b) Specification for disposal sites
      Subject to subsection (c) of this section, each such disposal
    site shall be specified for each such permit by the Secretary (1)
    through the application of guidelines developed by the
    Administrator, in conjunction with the Secretary, which guidelines
    shall be based upon criteria comparable to the criteria applicable
    to the territorial seas, the contiguous zone, and the ocean under
    section 1343(c) of this title, and (2) in any case where such
    guidelines under clause (1) alone would prohibit the specification
    of a site, through the application additionally of the economic
    impact of the site on navigation and anchorage.
    (c) Denial or restriction of use of defined areas as disposal sites
      The Administrator is authorized to prohibit the specification
    (including the withdrawal of specification) of any defined area as
    a disposal site, and he is authorized to deny or restrict the use
    of any defined area for specification (including the withdrawal of
    specification) as a disposal site, whenever he determines, after
    notice and opportunity for public hearings, that the discharge of
    such materials into such area will have an unacceptable adverse
    effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery
    areas (including spawning and breeding areas), wildlife, or
    recreational areas. Before making such determination, the
    Administrator shall consult with the Secretary. The Administrator
    shall set forth in writing and make public his findings and his
    reasons for making any determination under this subsection.
    (d) "Secretary" defined
      The term "Secretary" as used in this section means the Secretary
    of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers.
    (e) General permits on State, regional, or nationwide basis
      (1) In carrying out his functions relating to the discharge of
    dredged or fill material under this section, the Secretary may,
    after notice and opportunity for public hearing, issue general
    permits on a State, regional, or nationwide basis for any category
    of activities involving discharges of dredged or fill material if
    the Secretary determines that the activities in such category are
    similar in nature, will cause only minimal adverse environmental
    effects when performed separately, and will have only minimal
    cumulative adverse effect on the environment. Any general permit
    issued under this subsection shall (A) be based on the guidelines
    described in subsection (b)(1) of this section, and (B) set forth
    the requirements and standards which shall apply to any activity
    authorized by such general permit.
      (2) No general permit issued under this subsection shall be for a
    period of more than five years after the date of its issuance and
    such general permit may be revoked or modified by the Secretary if,
    after opportunity for public hearing, the Secretary determines that
    the activities authorized by such general permit have an adverse
    impact on the environment or such activities are more appropriately
    authorized by individual permits.
    (f) Non-prohibited discharge of dredged or fill material
      (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the
    discharge of dredged or fill material - 
        (A) from normal farming, silviculture, and ranching activities
      such as plowing, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage, harvesting
      for the production of food, fiber, and forest products, or upland
      soil and water conservation practices;
        (B) for the purpose of maintenance, including emergency
      reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of currently
      serviceable structures such as dikes, dams, levees, groins,
      riprap, breakwaters, causeways, and bridge abutments or
      approaches, and transportation structures;
        (C) for the purpose of construction or maintenance of farm or
      stock ponds or irrigation ditches, or the maintenance of drainage
      ditches;
        (D) for the purpose of construction of temporary sedimentation
      basins on a construction site which does not include placement of
      fill material into the navigable waters;
        (E) for the purpose of construction or maintenance of farm
      roads or forest roads, or temporary roads for moving mining
      equipment, where such roads are constructed and maintained, in
      accordance with best management practices, to assure that flow
      and circulation patterns and chemical and biological
      characteristics of the navigable waters are not impaired, that
      the reach of the navigable waters is not reduced, and that any
      adverse effect on the aquatic environment will be otherwise
      minimized;
        (F) resulting from any activity with respect to which a State
      has an approved program under section 1288(b)(4) of this title
      which meets the requirements of subparagraphs (B) and (C) of such
      section,

    is not prohibited by or otherwise subject to regulation under this
    section or section 1311(a) or 1342 of this title (except for
    effluent standards or prohibitions under section 1317 of this
    title).
      (2) Any discharge of dredged or fill material into the navigable
    waters incidental to any activity having as its purpose bringing an
    area of the navigable waters into a use to which it was not
    previously subject, where the flow or circulation of navigable
    waters may be impaired or the reach of such waters be reduced,
    shall be required to have a permit under this section.
    (g) State administration
      (1) The Governor of any State desiring to administer its own
    individual and general permit program for the discharge of dredged
    or fill material into the navigable waters (other than those waters
    which are presently used, or are susceptible to use in their
    natural condition or by reasonable improvement as a means to
    transport interstate or foreign commerce shoreward to their
    ordinary high water mark, including all waters which are subject to
    the ebb and flow of the tide shoreward to their mean high water
    mark, or mean higher high water mark on the west coast, including
    wetlands adjacent thereto) within its jurisdiction may submit to
    the Administrator a full and complete description of the program it
    proposes to establish and administer under State law or under an
    interstate compact. In addition, such State shall submit a
    statement from the attorney general (or the attorney for those
    State agencies which have independent legal counsel), or from the
    chief legal officer in the case of an interstate agency, that the
    laws of such State, or the interstate compact, as the case may be,
    provide adequate authority to carry out the described program.
      (2) Not later than the tenth day after the date of the receipt of
    the program and statement submitted by any State under paragraph
    (1) of this subsection, the Administrator shall provide copies of
    such program and statement to the Secretary and the Secretary of
    the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish
    and Wildlife Service.
      (3) Not later than the ninetieth day after the date of the
    receipt by the Administrator of the program and statement submitted
    by any State, under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary
    and the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of
    the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall submit any
    comments with respect to such program and statement to the
    Administrator in writing.
    (h) Determination of State's authority to issue permits under State
      program; approval; notification; transfers to State program
      (1) Not later than the one-hundred-twentieth day after the date
    of the receipt by the Administrator of a program and statement
    submitted by any State under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the
    Administrator shall determine, taking into account any comments
    submitted by the Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior,
    acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife
    Service, pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, whether such
    State has the following authority with respect to the issuance of
    permits pursuant to such program:
        (A) To issue permits which - 
          (i) apply, and assure compliance with, any applicable
        requirements of this section, including, but not limited to,
        the guidelines established under subsection (b)(1) of this
        section, and sections 1317 and 1343 of this title;
          (ii) are for fixed terms not exceeding five years; and
          (iii) can be terminated or modified for cause including, but
        not limited to, the following:
            (I) violation of any condition of the permit;
            (II) obtaining a permit by misrepresentation, or failure to
          disclose fully all relevant facts;
            (III) change in any condition that requires either a
          temporary or permanent reduction or elimination of the
          permitted discharge.

        (B) To issue permits which apply, and assure compliance with,
      all applicable requirements of section 1318 of this title, or to
      inspect, monitor, enter, and require reports to at least the same
      extent as required in section 1318 of this title.
        (C) To assure that the public, and any other State the waters
      of which may be affected, receive notice of each application for
      a permit and to provide an opportunity for public hearing before
      a ruling on each such application.
        (D) To assure that the Administrator receives notice of each
      application (including a copy thereof) for a permit.
        (E) To assure that any State (other than the permitting State),
      whose waters may be affected by the issuance of a permit may
      submit written recommendations to the permitting State (and the
      Administrator) with respect to any permit application and, if any
      part of such written recommendations are not accepted by the
      permitting State, that the permitting State will notify such
      affected State (and the Administrator) in writing of its failure
      to so accept such recommendations together with its reasons for
      so doing.
        (F) To assure that no permit will be issued if, in the judgment
      of the Secretary, after consultation with the Secretary of the
      department in which the Coast Guard is operating, anchorage and
      navigation of any of the navigable waters would be substantially
      impaired thereby.
        (G) To abate violations of the permit or the permit program,
      including civil and criminal penalties and other ways and means
      of enforcement.
        (H) To assure continued coordination with Federal and Federal-
      State water-related planning and review processes.

      (2) If, with respect to a State program submitted under
    subsection (g)(1) of this section, the Administrator determines
    that such State - 
        (A) has the authority set forth in paragraph (1) of this
      subsection, the Administrator shall approve the program and so
      notify (i) such State and (ii) the Secretary, who upon subsequent
      notification from such State that it is administering such
      program, shall suspend the issuance of permits under subsections
      (a) and (e) of this section for activities with respect to which
      a permit may be issued pursuant to such State program; or
        (B) does not have the authority set forth in paragraph (1) of
      this subsection, the Administrator shall so notify such State,
      which notification shall also describe the revisions or
      modifications necessary so that such State may resubmit such
      program for a determination by the Administrator under this
      subsection.

      (3) If the Administrator fails to make a determination with
    respect to any program submitted by a State under subsection (g)(1)
    of this section within one-hundred-twenty days after the date of
    the receipt of such program, such program shall be deemed approved
    pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection and the
    Administrator shall so notify such State and the Secretary who,
    upon subsequent notification from such State that it is
    administering such program, shall suspend the issuance of permits
    under subsection (a) and (e) of this section for activities with
    respect to which a permit may be issued by such State.
      (4) After the Secretary receives notification from the
    Administrator under paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection that a
    State permit program has been approved, the Secretary shall
    transfer any applications for permits pending before the Secretary
    for activities with respect to which a permit may be issued
    pursuant to such State program to such State for appropriate
    action.
      (5) Upon notification from a State with a permit program approved
    under this subsection that such State intends to administer and
    enforce the terms and conditions of a general permit issued by the
    Secretary under subsection (e) of this section with respect to
    activities in such State to which such general permit applies, the
    Secretary shall suspend the administration and enforcement of such
    general permit with respect to such activities.
    (i) Withdrawal of approval
      Whenever the Administrator determines after public hearing that a
    State is not administering a program approved under subsection
    (h)(2)(A) of this section, in accordance with this section,
    including, but not limited to, the guidelines established under
    subsection (b)(1) of this section, the Administrator shall so
    notify the State, and, if appropriate corrective action is not
    taken within a reasonable time, not to exceed ninety days after the
    date of the receipt of such notification, the Administrator shall
    (1) withdraw approval of such program until the Administrator
    determines such corrective action has been taken, and (2) notify
    the Secretary that the Secretary shall resume the program for the
    issuance of permits under subsections (a) and (e) of this section
    for activities with respect to which the State was issuing permits
    and that such authority of the Secretary shall continue in effect
    until such time as the Administrator makes the determination
    described in clause (1) of this subsection and such State again has
    an approved program.
    (j) Copies of applications for State permits and proposed general
      permits to be transmitted to Administrator
      Each State which is administering a permit program pursuant to
    this section shall transmit to the Administrator (1) a copy of each
    permit application received by such State and provide notice to the
    Administrator of every action related to the consideration of such
    permit application, including each permit proposed to be issued by
    such State, and (2) a copy of each proposed general permit which
    such State intends to issue. Not later than the tenth day after the
    date of the receipt of such permit application or such proposed
    general permit, the Administrator shall provide copies of such
    permit application or such proposed general permit to the Secretary
    and the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of
    the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. If the Administrator
    intends to provide written comments to such State with respect to
    such permit application or such proposed general permit, he shall
    so notify such State not later than the thirtieth day after the
    date of the receipt of such application or such proposed general
    permit and provide such written comments to such State, after
    consideration of any comments made in writing with respect to such
    application or such proposed general permit by the Secretary and
    the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the
    United States Fish and Wildlife Service, not later than the
    ninetieth day after the date of such receipt. If such State is so
    notified by the Administrator, it shall not issue the proposed
    permit until after the receipt of such comments from the
    Administrator, or after such ninetieth day, whichever first occurs.
    Such State shall not issue such proposed permit after such
    ninetieth day if it has received such written comments in which the
    Administrator objects (A) to the issuance of such proposed permit
    and such proposed permit is one that has been submitted to the
    Administrator pursuant to subsection (h)(1)(E) of this section, or
    (B) to the issuance of such proposed permit as being outside the
    requirements of this section, including, but not limited to, the
    guidelines developed under subsection (b)(1) of this section unless
    it modifies such proposed permit in accordance with such comments.
    Whenever the Administrator objects to the issuance of a permit
    under the preceding sentence such written objection shall contain a
    statement of the reasons for such objection and the conditions
    which such permit would include if it were issued by the
    Administrator. In any case where the Administrator objects to the
    issuance of a permit, on request of the State, a public hearing
    shall be held by the Administrator on such objection. If the State
    does not resubmit such permit revised to meet such objection within
    30 days after completion of the hearing or, if no hearing is
    requested within 90 days after the date of such objection, the
    Secretary may issue the permit pursuant to subsection (a) or (e) of
    this section, as the case may be, for such source in accordance
    with the guidelines and requirements of this chapter.
    (k) Waiver
      In accordance with guidelines promulgated pursuant to subsection
    (i)(2) of section 1314 of this title, the Administrator is
    authorized to waive the requirements of subsection (j) of this
    section at the time of the approval of a program pursuant to
    subsection (h)(2)(A) of this section for any category (including
    any class, type, or size within such category) of discharge within
    the State submitting such program.
    (l) Categories of discharges not subject to requirements
      The Administrator shall promulgate regulations establishing
    categories of discharges which he determines shall not be subject
    to the requirements of subsection (j) of this section in any State
    with a program approved pursuant to subsection (h)(2)(A) of this
    section. The Administrator may distinguish among classes, types,
    and sizes within any category of discharges.
    (m) Comments on permit applications or proposed general permits by
      Secretary of the Interior acting through Director of United
      States Fish and Wildlife Service
      Not later than the ninetieth day after the date on which the
    Secretary notifies the Secretary of the Interior, acting through
    the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service that
    (1) an application for a permit under subsection (a) of this
    section has been received by the Secretary, or (2) the Secretary
    proposes to issue a general permit under subsection (e) of this
    section, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director
    of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall submit any
    comments with respect to such application or such proposed general
    permit in writing to the Secretary.
    (n) Enforcement authority not limited
      Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority
    of the Administrator to take action pursuant to section 1319 of
    this title.
    (o) Public availability of permits and permit applications
      A copy of each permit application and each permit issued under
    this section shall be available to the public. Such permit
    application or portion thereof, shall further be available on
    request for the purpose of reproduction.
    (p) Compliance
      Compliance with a permit issued pursuant to this section,
    including any activity carried out pursuant to a general permit
    issued under this section, shall be deemed compliance, for purposes
    of sections 1319 and 1365 of this title, with sections 1311, 1317,
    and 1343 of this title.
    (q) Minimization of duplication, needless paperwork, and delays in
      issuance; agreements
      Not later than the one-hundred-eightieth day after December 27,
    1977, the Secretary shall enter into agreements with the
    Administrator, the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture,
    Commerce, Interior, and Transportation, and the heads of other
    appropriate Federal agencies to minimize, to the maximum extent
    practicable, duplication, needless paperwork, and delays in the
    issuance of permits under this section. Such agreements shall be
    developed to assure that, to the maximum extent practicable, a
    decision with respect to an application for a permit under
    subsection (a) of this section will be made not later than the
    ninetieth day after the date the notice for such application is
    published under subsection (a) of this section.
    (r) Federal projects specifically authorized by Congress
      The discharge of dredged or fill material as part of the
    construction of a Federal project specifically authorized by
    Congress, whether prior to or on or after December 27, 1977, is not
    prohibited by or otherwise subject to regulation under this
    section, or a State program approved under this section, or section
    1311(a) or 1342 of this title (except for effluent standards or
    prohibitions under section 1317 of this title), if information on
    the effects of such discharge, including consideration of the
    guidelines developed under subsection (b)(1) of this section, is
    included in an environmental impact statement for such project
    pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42
    U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] and such environmental impact statement has
    been submitted to Congress before the actual discharge of dredged
    or fill material in connection with the construction of such
    project and prior to either authorization of such project or an
    appropriation of funds for such construction.
    (s) Violation of permits
      (1) Whenever on the basis of any information available to him the
    Secretary finds that any person is in violation of any condition or
    limitation set forth in a permit issued by the Secretary under this
    section, the Secretary shall issue an order requiring such person
    to comply with such condition or limitation, or the Secretary shall
    bring a civil action in accordance with paragraph (3) of this
    subsection.
      (2) A copy of any order issued under this subsection shall be
    sent immediately by the Secretary to the State in which the
    violation occurs and other affected States. Any order issued under
    this subsection shall be by personal service and shall state with
    reasonable specificity the nature of the violation, specify a time
    for compliance, not to exceed thirty days, which the Secretary
    determines is reasonable, taking into account the seriousness of
    the violation and any good faith efforts to comply with applicable
    requirements. In any case in which an order under this subsection
    is issued to a corporation, a copy of such order shall be served on
    any appropriate corporate officers.
      (3) The Secretary is authorized to commence a civil action for
    appropriate relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction
    for any violation for which he is authorized to issue a compliance
    order under paragraph (1) of this subsection. Any action under this
    paragraph may be brought in the district court of the United States
    for the district in which the defendant is located or resides or is
    doing business, and such court shall have jurisdiction to restrain
    such violation and to require compliance. Notice of the
    commencement of such acton (!1) shall be given immediately to the
    appropriate State.

      (4) Any person who violates any condition or limitation in a
    permit issued by the Secretary under this section, and any person
    who violates any order issued by the Secretary under paragraph (1)
    of this subsection, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to
    exceed $25,000 per day for each violation. In determining the
    amount of a civil penalty the court shall consider the seriousness
    of the violation or violations, the economic benefit (if any)
    resulting from the violation, any history of such violations, any
    good-faith efforts to comply with the applicable requirements, the
    economic impact of the penalty on the violator, and such other
    matters as justice may require.
    (t) Navigable waters within State jurisdiction
      Nothing in this section shall preclude or deny the right of any
    State or interstate agency to control the discharge of dredged or
    fill material in any portion of the navigable waters within the
    jurisdiction of such State, including any activity of any Federal
    agency, and each such agency shall comply with such State or
    interstate requirements both substantive and procedural to control
    the discharge of dredged or fill material to the same extent that
    any person is subject to such requirements. This section shall not
    be construed as affecting or impairing the authority of the
    Secretary to maintain navigation.