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Federal Waters of the US Definition-Proposed Rules

Posted Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Comments on the rules jointly proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) are due by October 20, 2014.  The definition of what constitutes a WOTUS determines whether the water is or is not subject to federal jurisdiction and regulation under the Clean Water Act.  Comments can be submitted online or via email, mail, or hand delivery.

More information on the rules may be found on EPA’s WOTUS website.  The proposed WOTUS definition purports to simply codify current practices and U.S. Supreme Court opinions as to what constitutes a WOTUS, but can be expected to broaden what are considered federal jurisdictional waters and will likely now include most stormwater conveyances and ditches as well as retention ponds in floodplains.  “Waters” that are covered by EPA/ACOE jurisdiction are subject to dredge and fill and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge permitting requirements, water quality criteria, Total Maximum Daily Load and basin management action plan policies, and municipal separate storm sewer system permit conditions.

Please contact Susan Stephens for additional information.

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