Beveridge & Diamond

Corps Seeks Comments on CWA Jurisdiction Over Irrigation and Drainage Ditches

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., December 18, 2007

On December 13, 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) announced that it is requesting comments on guidance the agency issued this summer to explain the scope of Clean Water Act (“CWA”) jurisdiction over activities in irrigation and drainage ditches.  That guidance, RGL No. 07-02, is intended to clarify when the CWA exempts construction and maintenance of irrigation ditches and maintenance of drainage ditches from the Section 404 permitting program.  (For a detailed analysis of RGL No. 07-02, please click here).  The comment deadline is February 11, 2008.

The opening of this comment period marks an important opportunity for interested parties to provide input on their experiences with assertions of CWA jurisdiction over routine activities in irrigation and drainage ditches.  Notably, the comment period overlaps with the recently extended period for commenting on the Corps/EPA joint guidance interpreting CWA jurisdiction over wetlands and non-navigable waters in the wake of Rapanos v. United States.  (See B&D news, November 30 2007).  As a result, stakeholders may wish to comment on these guidance documents separately for maximum effect as the Corps continues to shape its interpretation of CWA jurisdiction over ditches, wetlands, and other non-navigable waters.

To discuss these issues further, please contact Fred Wagner ( or Parker Moore (




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