Federal Law, under the Clean Water Act of 1976 and Amendments, requires that any person or business that proposes to place a fill or dredged material in the “Waters of the United States” shall first obtain a dredge permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The “Waters of the United States” have been interpreted in various courts as any body of water more than 10 acres in size including contiguous wetlands and any flowing stream. Various state governments have also made their own interpretations of these regulations, and in many cases, the state may require a separate permit meeting different criteria.
Dredged material is defined to include the overflow from a confined dredged material disposal site, as well as the sediment removed by the dredging process itself. Most states exempt small farm ponds under a certain area, but the size can vary from state to state. The law governing the placement of fills and dredged materials in the Waters of the United States provides both Civil and Criminal penalties for violations. We strongly urge you to check with the appropriate authorities in your state to determine if the filling or dredging you plan to do requires a permit.