United States
                       Environmental Protection
                       Agency
                   Office of Water (WH-556F).
                   Office of Wetlands, Oceans,
                   and Watersheds (A-104 F)
                     EPA843-F-93-001I
                     March 1993
  &EFA       WETLANDS FACT SHEET #12
                      Clean  Water  Act   404(c):
                      Veto Authority
            THE 404 (c) PROCESS
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EPA Regional Administrator states higgler intention to issue a public notice of
a Proposed Determination to withdraW/fttphibit deny, or restrict the specifica-
tion of a defined area for the clispc&jjji|dredged or fill material.
If within 15days,ithas not been demowlrated to the satisfaction of the Regional
Administrator that no unacceptable adverse effects will occur, the Regional
Administrator publishes notice of the: Proposed Determination. The Proposed
Determination does not represent a jddjjjirierit that discharges of dredged or fill
material will result in unacceptable etfetarse effects; it merely means that the
Regional Administrator believes thalfl^t issue should be explored.
The public comment period for the PfOfJosed Determination isjqnger man 30
days and less than 60 days, except uoefer circumstances whereitonger period
is warranted. Generally, due to the dfgree of public interest in tfWiPA action,
a public hearing is held. Within 3? tjf0f the public hearing, ortfjtt* public
hearing is held, within 15 days of thcf^d of the comment period, the Regional
Administrator takes action.       v
                                    Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act
                             authorizes EPA to restrict or prohibit the use
                             of an area as a disposal site for dredged or fill
                             material if the discharge will have unaccept-
                             able adverse effects on municipal water sup-
                             plies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wild-
                             life or recreational areas. Because 404(c)
                             actions have historically arisen in response
                             to unresolved permit applications, the EPA
                             action is frequently referred to as an EPA
                             "veto" of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
                             permit
 Recommendation to withdraw,
 cation of a defined area for the
deny, or restrict the specifi-
" dredged or fill material
The Regional Administrator forwar
record to the Administrator and
for review. Within 30 days. EPA
 document and the administrative
  it Administrator for Water of EPA
    initiates action.
 Within 60 days of receipt of the recommendation and the administrative record.
 EPA Headquarters makes a Final Determination affirming, modifying, or
 rescinding the Recommended Determination. Notice of the'final determination
 shall be published in the Federal Register.
                                        Unacceptable Adverse Effects
                               Impact on an aquatic or wetland ecosystem which
                               is likely to result in significant degradation of
                               municipal water supplies (including surface or
                               groundwater) or significant loss of or damage to
                               fisheries, shellfishing, or wildlife habitat, or recre-
                               ation areas.
Under the current 404(c) regulations, EPA
decisions regarding formal elevation of a
project under Section 404(c) must be initi-
ated by the Regional Administrator. Initia-
tion of a Section 404(c) action is completely
within the discretion of the Agency.  If the
Regional Administrator chooses to recom-
                 mend actions pursuant to
                 Section 404(c) of theClean
                 Water Act,  EPA  Head-
                 quarters  then becomes
                 formally involved.  The
                 authority for Final Deter-
                 minations pursuant to
                 404(c) regarding site re-
                 striction or prohibition is
                 currently  delegated to
                                                 -...*. . SS*r. !!..- .
                                                 The Assistant Administrator tor
                                                 Water may review the withdrawn
                                                 Proposed Determination
EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water,
who is EPA's National 404 program man-
ager.
       FOR MORE INFORMATION: call Ihc EPA Wetlands Hotline* at 1-800-832-7828
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