EPA/Corps Preliminary Draft Rule to Expand CWA Jurisdiction

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have sent a preliminary version of a draft rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget that would expand the federal jurisdiction of wetlands and other surface waters under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The preliminary draft of the rule would redefine “waters of the United States” and broaden the federal jurisdiction to include all tributaries and all wetlands within floodplains, leaving only geographically isolated wetlands to undergo a case by case analysis to determine if there is a significant nexus with traditionally navigable waters.

If put into effect, these changes would make federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other surface waters more closely mimic the state of Florida’s jurisdiction over these areas. The proposed language is not an official draft rule and the scientific basis for the support of this language is still undergoing review and comment, so the ultimate proposed and final rule may be different than the initial draft as sent by the EPA and Corps.

For additional information contact Amelia Savage.