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Final Waters of the United States Rule Issued

Posted Friday, June 12th, 2015

Hopping Green & Sams has previously reported (here and here) on the potential effect on Florida businesses of the waters of the U.S. definitional rule (WOTUS rule), officially called the Clean Water Rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would significantly change how jurisdictional determinations are conducted in order to identify waters subject to regulation under the federal Clean Water Act. The proposed rule, published last year, would have yielded significant uncertainty and added expense to client activities and planned activities and operations. Hopping Green & Sams has evaluated the final rule, which was issued in pre-publication form by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Needed clarifications were made to tighten up the rule language, including language regarding certain exclusions. Additionally, the effect of this rule is somewhat muted in Florida as compared to other states, given the extensive reach of Florida’s wetland program. However, the new rule is likely to expand jurisdiction over waters and wetlands within a mapped 100-year floodplain, unless the water otherwise excluded. The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in approximately 1-2 weeks.

For additional information contact Susan Stephens and David Childs.

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