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EPA Issues New Rule on Definition of Waters of the United States

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the long-awaited final rule redefining the extent of the agencies’ jurisdiction over “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.  The Final Rule, known as the “Clean Water Rule,” abruptly changes (i.e., within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register) the types of waters that will be regulated under numerous federal programs, including NPDES permitting, wetland and watercourse (i.e., dredge and fill) permitting, spill response planning, and spill reporting.  The Final Rule will affect all types of industries, real estate development, construction activities, and other entities by increasing the types and extent of waters that will be regulated under the Clean Water Act and introducing a new analysis for evaluating whether a water is jurisdictional.

For more information, read our Administrative Watch regarding the Clean Water Rule.