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Limits of Corps Regulatory Jurisdiction

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      • are regulated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act
      • are waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce
      • in the Seattle District, examples of navigable waters include, but are not limited to, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and the Columbia River
      • are regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
      • These waters include navigable waters and other parts of the surface water tributary system down to the smallest of streams (e.g., tributary that only contains water after a rain event), lakes, ponds, or other water bodies on those streams, and adjacent wetlands (e.g. sloughs, swamps, and some seasonally flooded areas) if they meet certain criteria.
      • Isolated waters such as playa lakes, prairie potholes, old river scars, cutoff sloughs, and abandoned construction and mining pits may also be waters of the United States. An important point is that waters of the United States include areas that are man-made, or man-induced, as well as natural.
      • Under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the extent of Corps jurisdiction in tidal waterways extends to the mean high water line
      • Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the extent of Corps jurisdiction in tidal waters extends to the high tide line. Currently, the Seattle District uses the mean higher high water mark as the geographic limits of the high tide line.  When adjacent wetlands are present, the geographic limits extend to the delineated limits of the wetland.
      • The limit of jurisdiction in non-tidal waters extends to the ordinary high water mark.
      • When adjacent wetlands are present, the jurisdiction extends beyond the ordinary high water mark to the delineated limit of the adjacent wetlands.
      • The limit of jurisdiction in the territorial seas is measured from the baseline in a seaward direction a distance of three nautical miles.