SAVANNAH DISTRICT

 

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Jurisdictional Determinations

Two federal statutes mandate the Corps jurisdiction over navigable waterways and adjacent wetlands. These are Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 to all navigable waters of the United States and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act applies to all waters including wetlands that have sufficient nexus to interstate commerce. The diagram below illustrates the lateral limit where Section 10 and Section 404 apply.



The Corps has two approaches to complete a jurisdictional determination (JD) for the purpose of establishing jurisdiction pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344). The two types of JDs are Preliminary and Approved JDs.

 

     

Court Cases Concerning Jurisdiction

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On December 1, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the government's petition for a writ of certiorari for United States v. McWane. Inc., et al. By default, Corps and USEPA now recognize the 11th Circuit decision that the Kennedy standard is the sole method of determining CWA jurisdiction in that circuit. The State of Georgia is located within the 11th Circuit, and consequently, the Savannah District now requires completion of a significant nexus test for all approved JDs. A significant a nexus test is an analysis of the flow characteristics and functions of the water and the functions performed by all wetlands adjacent to the water to determine if they significantly affect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of downstream traditional navigable waters and includes consideration of hydrologic and ecologic factors.

 

Contact Information

Phone: 912-652-5050

Email: cesas-rd@usace.army.mil