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Special Public Notice: Applicability of the Clean Water Act 404(f)(1)(C) exemption for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and the maintenance of drainage ditches within Colorado

Published March 24, 2021

SUBJECT: On July 24, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum to the field regarding application of the exemptions under Section 404(f)(1)(C) of the CWA for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and for the maintenance of drainage ditches. For purposes of implementing the ditch exemptions, the memo defines terms including “irrigation ditch” and “drainage ditch” and provides a framework for determining the applicability of the ditch exemptions and the recapture provision in CWA Section 404(f)(2). The memorandum provides a clear, consistent approach regarding the application of the exemptions, superseding prior national guidance.

DESCRIPTION: The attached fact sheet identifies the specifics relating to how this memorandum affects the Corps’ Regulatory Program in Colorado and where to find more information.

Ditch Memo Fact Sheet