2019 Redwood City Salt Plant Jurisdictional Determination under CWA Section 404
On October 5, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California vacated EPA’s jurisdictional determination for the Redwood City Salt Plant site, and the Agency has withdrawn its appeal of the decision. Therefore, EPA is archiving this page because the determination is no longer in effect.
In March 2015, EPA announced that it was exercising its “special case” authority under the 1989 Memorandum of Agreement between EPA and the Department of the Army: Determination of Geographic Jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act Section 404 Program to make the Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdictional determination for the Redwood City Salt Plant site in California.
In March 2019, EPA finalized its jurisdictional determination for this site. In making its determination, EPA relied on the agency's and the Corps’ long-recognized legal interpretation that CWA jurisdiction does not apply to waters that were legally converted to dry land (i.e., “fast land”) by permit, or prior to the passage of the CWA. After careful legal consideration and review, EPA has found that the Redwood City Salt Plant site does not include “waters of the United States” because the site was converted to fast land long before the CWA was enacted.