Army Corps of Engineers Raises Clean Water Act Civil Penalty

Posted on 10/13/2017 by Roger Marks

The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) on Friday raised its civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act to reflect the rate of inflation. The maximum civil penalty that the Army can assess for Clean Water Act violations is now $52,414 per day, per violation.

This matches EPA’s civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations, which was adjusted earlier this year to keep pace with inflation.

What Does the Army Have to Do With Clean Water?

Engineers have been a critical part of the US military since George Washington appointed the first Army engineer officers in 1775. In 1802, the Army officially established the Corps of Engineers as a separate branch. Throughout the 19th century, the Army Corps surveyed new territories and managed major infrastructure construction projects—roads, bridges, coastal fortifications, railroads, lighthouses, dams, etc.—nationwide. 

Fast-forward to the late 1960s. As environmentalism took hold in the US, the Corps of Engineers helped lead the way by undertaking more environmental preservation and restoration projects.

Army Corps of Engineers Raises Clean Water Act Civil Penalty

Today, the Corps oversees dredge-and-fill permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In January, the Corps issued a Final Rule to reissue 50 nationwide permits (NWPs) authorizing discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the US under certain conditions. The Final Rule also added 2 new NWPs.

In addition to their responsibilities for enforcing the Clean Water Act, Army engineers play a critical role in emergency response and recovery operations—from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico today.

Clean Water Act Training

The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations Online Course will help you build a full understanding of the EPA’s major water regulations and how they affect your operations.

Packed with interactive, engaging exercises that drive home the real-world meaning of these complex water regulations, the course covers topics like:
  • NPDES permit and control requirements  
  • SPCC plan basics and EPA reporting obligations
  • US EPA pretreatment standards
  • EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program
  • Water quality standards for public systems and MCLs


Tags: Act, Clean, fines and penalties, new rules, Water

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