Below are guidance documents, legislation links, and permitting information to guide CDOT staff and consultants through transportation project delivery and aquatic resource protection.

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CDOT Guidance and Procedures

CDOT Wetland Program Cheat Sheet

Programmatic Wetland Finding Approval MOA, 2019

Programmatic Wetland Finding Template (REQUIRED)

Wetland Data Procedures - CDOT procedures for wetland data collection and submittal 

NEPA / 404 Merger Process and Agreement for Transportation Projects (2019 Revision)

FHWA Regulation and Guidance

Executive Order 11990 - Protection of Wetlands

23 CFR Part 777 - Federal Highway Administration Mitigation of Impacts to Wetlands and Natural Habitat

Technical Advisory T6640.8A - Federal Highway Administration Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) Documents (link takes you to the wetland part)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulation and Guidance

Update on the 2023 Waters of the U.S. Rule -
On September 8, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers published the new rule Revised Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’; Conforming. The "Conforming Rule" amends the January 2023 Rule conforming it to the decision in Sackett vs. EPA. The Sackett decision holds that waters of the U.S includes only those “wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies that are ‘waters of the United States’ in their own right,” so that they are “as a practical matter indistinguishable from waters of the United States.” As a result, to assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over an adjacent wetland a party now must establish:

1. The adjacent body of water is relatively permanent and connected to traditional interstate navigable waters, and

2. The wetland has a continuous surface connection with that relatively permanent water, making it difficult to determine where the ‘water’ ends and the ‘wetland’ begins. 

Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into certain wetlands and streams and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The EPA provides a summary of the Act and links to more resources.

Section 404 Nationwide Permits

Regional General Permits

Mitigation and Monitoring

Clean Water Act Exemptions

Ditch Exemption Memorandum
On July 24, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a memorandum to the field regarding application of the exemptions under section 404(f) of the Clean Water Act for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and for the maintenance of drainage ditches.

Maintenance Exemption
Certain discharges for the maintenance, including emergency reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of currently serviceable structures such as riprap, bridge abutments or approaches, and transportation structures are exempt from the requirements under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Only July 6, 2023, the CDPHE published Clean Water Policy 17Enforcement of Unpermitted Discharges of Dredged and Fill Material into State Watersto exercise enforcement discretion for discharges of dredged or fill material into state waters that are not subject to federal section 404 permitting following the Sackett v. EPA decision. 

For impacts to aquatic resources that were federally jurisdictional before the Sackett decision but are no longer considered a waters of the United States, project proponents should notify the CDPHE about discharge activities using the online notification system