New Clean Water Act – Waters of the US Rule has officially been Released! Here is an overview of changes:
- Interstate Waters – Removing interstate wetlands from the text of the interstate waters provision
- Tributaries – Removing the Significant nexus standard
- Adjacent Wetlands – Removing the Significant nexus standard
- Additional Waters – Removing the significant nexus standard; removing wetlands and streams from the text of the provision.
- The “relatively permanent standard” now applies. According to the Clean Waters Act Relatively Permanent means standing or continuously flowing waters connected to waters.
- Adjacent – Revised definition to mean “having a continuous surface connection.”
- Waters of the United States would substantially impinge upon States’ responsibilities and rights under section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Through 401 States have the authority to grant, deny, or wave certification of proposed Federal licenses or permits that may discharge into waters of the United States. Tribes and States retain authority to implement their own programs to protect the waters in their jurisdiction more broadly and more stringently then Federal Government.
- Traditional Navigable Waters – No Change
- Territorial Seas – No Change
- Impoundments – No Change
- Wetlands – No change
- High tide line – No changes
- Ordinary Hight water mark – No changes
- Tidal waters – No Changes
Here’s what this means for you:
- The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will interpret the phrase “waters of the United States” in line with the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA.
- USACE has temporarily suspended the issuance of Approved Jurisdictional Determinations until they develop new guidance and implementation.
- Most USACE Districts are still processing Preliminary Jurisdictional Determinations, but some districts have also put them on hold for now.
- Once the interpretation is complete, the agencies will establish new rules and guidance. We don’t have a timeline for implementation from USACE yet, but we’ll continue to keep you informed and provide assistance.
Here’s how we can assist you:
Our Environmental Specialists are ready to navigate you through this complex process by Conducting field delineations to determine if wetlands are present on site and submit these to the State for a jurisdictional determination if they are outside of the “Adjacent” definition for federal regulation. If you have any questions regarding this information, contact our team today!