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33 U.S.C. 403

Activities Covered: Building of any structure in the channel or along the banks of navigable waters of the U.S. that changes the course, conditions, location or capacity.

The Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1890 and 1899 establish permit requirements to prevent unauthorized obstruction or alteration of any navigable water of the United States. The most frequently exercised authority is contained in Section 10, which covers construction, excavation, or deposition of materials in, over, under, next to all such waters; or any work which would affect the course, location, condition, or capacity of those waters.  This authority is granted to the Secretary of the Army.

Activities covered: Minor or routine work with minimum impacts.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, more commonly known as the "Clean Water Act" is the second law that grants the Corps of Engineers authority for the Regulatory Program. 

Under Section 404, this Act directs the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers and after proper notice and opportunity for public comments and/or hearings, to issue a permit for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, at specified disposal sites.