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Executive Order 11574—Administration of Refuse Act Permit Program

December 23, 1970

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and in furtherance of the purposes and policies of section 13 of the Act of March 3, 1899, c. 425, 30 Stat. 1152 (33 U.S.C. 4077), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 661-666c), and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Refuse Act permit program. The executive branch of the Federal Government shall implement a permit program under the aforesaid section 13 of the Act of March 3, 1899 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") to regulate the discharge of pollutants and other refuse matter into the navigable waters of the United States or their tributaries and the placing of such matter upon their banks.

SEC. 2. Responsibilities of Federal agencies. (a) (1) The Secretary shall, after consultation with the Administrator respecting water quality matters, issue and amend, as appropriate, regulations, procedures, and instructions for receiving, processing, and evaluating applications for permits pursuant to the authority of the Act.

(2) The Secretary shall be responsible for granting, denying, conditioning, revoking, or suspending Refuse Act permits. In so doing:

(A) He shall accept findings, determinations, and interpretations which the Administrator shall make respecting applicable water quality standards and compliance with those standards in particular circumstances, including findings, determinations, and interpretations arising from the Administrator's review of State or interstate agency water quality certifications under section 21(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (84 Stat. 108). A permit shall be denied where the certification prescribed by section 21(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act has been denied, or where issuance would be inconsistent with any finding, determination, or interpretation of the Administrator pertaining to applicable water quality standards and considerations.

(B) In addition, he shall consider factors, other than water quality, which are prescribed by or may be lawfully considered under the Act or other pertinent laws.

(3) The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, with the Secretary of Commerce, with the Administrator, and with the head of the agency exercising administration over the wildlife resources of any affected State, regarding effects on fish and wildlife which are not reflected in water quality considerations, where the discharge for which a permit is sought impounds, diverts, deepens the channel, or otherwise controls or similarly modifies the stream or body of water into which the discharge is made.

(4) Where appropriate for a particular permit application, the Secretary shall perform such consultations respecting environmental amenities and values, other than those specifically referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) above, as may be required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

(b) The Attorney General shall conduct the legal proceedings necessary to enforce the Act and permits issued pursuant to it.

SEC. 3. Coordination by Council on Environmental Quality. (a) The Council on Environmental Quality shall coordinate the regulations, policies, and procedures of Federal agencies with respect to the Refuse Act permit program.

(b) The Council on Environmental Quality, after consultation with the Secretary, the Administrator, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Attorney General, shall from time to time or as directed by the President advise the President respecting the implementation of the Refuse Act permit program, including recommendations regarding any measures which should be taken to improve its administration.

SEC. 4. Definitions. As used in this order, the word "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Army, and the word "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.


The White House

December 23, 1970

NOTE: For a statement by the President upon signing the Executive order, see the preceding item.

Richard Nixon, Executive Order 11574—Administration of Refuse Act Permit Program Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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