U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Propose Clean Water Act Rule on "Waters of the U.S."

Published Apr 02, 2014

After much speculation and anticipation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have released their draft rule defining “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.  According to an agency press release, the draft rule clarifies protection of intermittent streams and riparian wetlands, but does not broaden the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction or regulate groundwater.  However, the impact of the proposed rule on regulation of wetlands and seasonal waterways remains unclear.  Apparently in response to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that raised questions about the scope of the Clean Water Act, the EPA has linked issuance of the new rule to a peer-reviewed assessment of scientific articles, entitled Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.

There will be a 90-day comment period after the rule is published in the Federal Register. To learn more about the proposed rule, contact James Tupper at tupper@tmw-law.com.

  • To view the EPA report Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, click here.