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Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Comparison of Dredged Material to Reference Sediment under CWA Section 404(b)(1)

Federal Register: January 4, 1995
40 CFR Part 230

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revise the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines (Guidelines) to provide for comparison of dredged material proposed for discharge with "reference sediment," for the purposes of conducting chemical, biological, and physical evaluations and testing. Reference sediment would be defined as sediment that reflects the conditions at the disposal site had no dredged material disposal ever occurred there. Adoption of the reference sediment approach would allow the regulatory program to better assess the potential cumulative impacts of dredged material discharges, and would make testing of dredged material proposed for discharge in waters of the U.S. more consistent with current methods used for testing dredged material proposed for ocean disposal.