This page provides information relating to 404 assumption in Minnesota, including current efforts and stakeholder information.
What is 404 Assumption?
Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. (33 USC §1344). In Minnesota, the program is currently administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with oversight by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Section 404(g) of the CWA allows states to apply to the EPA to administer a state water and wetland regulatory program that meets Section 404 requirements (aka “404 assumption”), eliminating the need for separate, federally-issued permits for projects affecting those waters covered by state assumption.
What has Minnesota done regarding 404 Assumption?
While Minnesota has explored the issue dating back to 1989, the most comprehensive analysis of 404 assumption in Minnesota was completed in 2017. The Minnesota Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Program Feasibility Study, an interagency report from the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Pollution Control Agency (PCA), was followed by a 2018 Analysis of Retained and Assumable Waters in Minnesota report. These reports and subsequent federal and state actions are the basis for current assumption efforts in Minnesota.
What is the current status of 404 Assumption in Minnesota?
In 2019, legislation was passed that directed the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to begin to assemble the materials required for a State 404 assumption application. Through an agreement with EQB, BWSR is leading the implementation of this legislation in coordination with DNR and PCA. This effort includes stakeholder outreach and coordination.
Stakeholder Outreach and Coordination
- 404 Assumption Update Memo to Stakeholders 10-19-20 (pdf)
- Stakeholder Presentation 10-19-20 (link to video)
- Assumable Waters Memo to Stakeholders 9-11-18 (pdf)
Minnesota Efforts to Explore 404 Assumption
2017 Minnesota Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Program Feasibility Study
2018 Analysis of Retained and Assumable Waters in Minnesota
Federal Information clarifying assumable waters
- 2017 NACEPT Assumable Waters Subcommittee Report (link)
- 2018 Department of the Army Memo regarding the scope of retained waters (link)
State Legislation and 404 Assumption Application Development
General 404 Assumption Information
- Minnesota 404 Assumption Fact Sheet (pdf)
- EPA webpage assumption page (link)
- Federal 404 Assumption Regulations (pdf)
- ASWM/ECOS 2011 Assumption Handbook for States and Tribes (pdf)