Jurisdictional Determinations

For further information on Corps Jurisdiction, please visit any of our related pages to the right.  Information on how to request JD related services can be found on our Apply for a permit or JD page to the right.

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.

Savannah District has three 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):  An Aquatic Resources Delineation Review (ARDR), a Preliminary JD and an Approved JD.


On 30 December 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS).  The rule was published in the Federal Register on 18 January 2023.  The effective date of this rule is set for 20 March 2023.

In developing the rule, EPA and Army considered the text of the relevant provisions of the Clean Water Act and the statute as a whole, the scientific record, relevant Supreme Court case law, and the agencies' experience and technical expertise after more than 45 years of implementing the longstanding pre-2015 regulations defining "waters of the United States."  The final rule advances the objective of the Clean Water Act and ensures critical protections for the nation's vital water resources, which support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth across the United States.  The final rule is available at:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/01/18/2022-28595/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states.  Additional information regarding the rule is available on EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus.

Announcements, tools, and other technical materials:






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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.



General Inquiries:  (800)-448-2402
Coastal Branch:  (912)-652-5893
Piedmont Branch:  (678)-422-2735

Email: cesas-rd@usace.army.mil