EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Prepare Rulemaking Delineating the Clean Water Act’s Reach
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have announced plans to move forward with formal rulemaking concerning the definition of “waters of the U.S.,” which would delineate the reach of EPA and the Corps’ authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Draft guidance issued by the agencies in 2011 that would have generally expanded CWA jurisdiction stalled at the White House Office of Management and Budget amid concerns raised by the regulated community, state and local governments, and environmental organizations. The rulemaking would clarify tests the agencies should use when determining whether waters are under federal jurisdiction according to the CWA in light of legal uncertainties created by the United States Supreme Court in recent decisions. The agencies did not indicate when the rulemaking will be released for public comment.
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