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What You Need to Know About Section 404 Permits



Any proposed project involving wetlands or other waters of the United States is likely to require some type of permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As the federal agency responsible for regulating impacts to wetlands, the Corps' regulations and the permit process can represent a significant part of a project's development.

The identification of wetlands or other waters on a project site, determination of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and ultimately the need for any permits can influence project design, schedule and cost. In today's atmosphere of changing regulatory practices, particularly with respect to the determination of federal jurisdiction, it is critical to understand how the Corps administers its regulatory programs.

This teleconference will help you understand how the federal wetlands program works, introducing you to the field or filling in the gaps if you are already working in the industry.

Upon completion of this courses, students will have developed an understanding of:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Section 404 Permit Authority
  • Clean Water Act and 404(B)(1) Guidelines
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • EPA and Corps Roles
  • Other Corps Regulatory Authorities
  • Rivers and Harbors Act
  • Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act
  • Jurisdiction
  • Waters of the United States (33 CFR 328.3)
  • Placement of Dredged or Fill Material
  • Do We Regulate Activities or Waters (or Both)?
  • How Is Jurisdiction Determined?
  • 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual
  • 2001 SWANCC Decision
  • 2006 Rapanos Decision and EPA/Corps Guidance
  • Types of Permits
  • Standard or Individual Permits
  • Regional General Permits
  • Nationwide Permits
  • What Goes in the Application and Why?
  • Required Information: Plans and Drawings, Project Description
  • Application Completeness: Public Notice vs. Permit Decision
  • What Is Involved in Evaluating the Permit Application?
  • Project Purpose and Need
  • Water Dependency Determination
  • Alternatives Analysis - 404(B)(1) Guidelines
  • Impact Determination
  • Mitigation - Avoidance, Minimization, Compensation
  • Agency Comment Process (USFWS, NMFS, SHPO, State Resource Agency)
  • Statement of Findings and Permit Decision
  • Are Corps Statutory Obligations Met? NEPA, 404(B)(1)
  • Permit Conditioning
  • Permit Document
  • Appeals Process
  • Construction and Maintenance Compliance


  • You will be able to discuss how jurisdiction is determined.
  • You will be able to identify what goes in the application and why.
  • You will be able to summarize what is involved in evaluating the permit application.
  • You will be able to review the statement of findings and permit decision.


Student assessment will be done through questions based on the content delivered throughout the course.

course quick facts
course code 384398EAU
cost $219.00
estimated time to
complete course
1 Hours
course materials
365 Days

Richard L. Darden, Ph.D., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers