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Water: Dredged Material Management

Dredged Material Laws and Regulations

Disposal of dredged material into ocean waters is governed by the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act Exit EPA Disclaimer(MPRSA, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act). See Summary of the MPRSA for an overview of the Act. The MPRSA implements the requirements of the London Convention (16 pp, 105K, About PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer, which is the international treaty governing ocean dumping.

The criteria and procedures for ocean dumping permits for dredged material are covered by EPA's ocean dumping regulations (40 CFR Parts 220 to 229) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' regulations. EPA's regulations also cover the criteria and procedures for designation and management of ocean dumping sites.

Disposal of dredged material into inland waters, and discharge of fill material into inland waters and the territorial seas, is governed by section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) Exit EPA Disclaimer. See Overview of CWA Section 404 (2 pp, 687K, About PDF) for a summary of this section.

The criteria and procedures for permits to discharge dredged material into inland waters and fill material into navigable waters are covered by EPA's CWA section 404(b)(1) guidelines (PDF) (40 pp, 110K, About PDF) (40 CFR part 230) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' regulations.


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