Section 404 of the Clean Water Act establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged and fill materials into waters of the United States, including wetlands. The basic premise of the USACE's Section 404 Regulatory program is that dredged or fill material cannot be discharged into water if the nation's waters would be significantly degraded or if a feasible alternative exists that is less damaging to the aquatic environment. Dredge and fill activities are controlled by a permit process administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

ASWM Publications:

Other Publications:


  • Understanding the Clean Water Act: An Online Course
    The River Network offers an online course, Understanding the Clean Water Act. Users can now explore the course at: The course is a companion to the book, The Clean Water Act Owner's Manual. Course content helps users isolate specific water quality problems, identify possible solutions, develop and leverage existing programs and build effective outreach tools. The course is appropriate for staff, interns, volunteers and board members interested in learning more about the force of the Clean Water Act and related tools. Even Clean Water Act old-timers will likely find something to ponder in the local stories, digging deeper and resources sections.  If you train staff or volunteers on the Act, you’ll also find some special training tools to help you get your points across.