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Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

2008 Rapanos Guidance and Related Documents under CWA Section 404

This joint memorandum, "Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in Rapanos v. United States & Carabell v. United States," (signed December 2, 2008), provides guidance to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) districts implementing the Supreme Court's decision in the consolidated cases Rapanos v. United States and Carabell v. United States which address the jurisdiction over waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. This guidance incorporates revisions to the EPA/Army Memorandum originally issued on June 6, 2007, after careful consideration of public comments received and based on the agencies' experience in implementing the Rapanos decision.

In addition, related documents include Questions and Answers Regarding the Revised Rapanos & Carabell Guidance and the June 2007 Memorandum of Agreement regarding Coordination on Jurisdictional Determinations under Clean Water Act Section 404 in Light of the SWANCC and Rapanos Supreme Court Decisions.

On October 22, 2019, the agencies published a final rule (Step One) to repeal the 2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States” and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule. The final Step One rule became effective on December 23, 2019, and the agencies are implementing the rule informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. The Step One rule will be replaced by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule upon its effective date, 60 days after publication in the Federal Register 

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