EPA Proposes Rule Clarifying “Waters of the U.S.”
U.S. Supreme Court opinions issued in 2001 and 2006 made determining which “waters of the U.S.” (e.g., bodies of water) are subject to federal Clean Water Act protections difficult. (Some argued that “puddles” near streams could even be subject to the law.)
In response to the confusion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have recently published a proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule to clarify how the federal Clean Water Act should apply to streams and wetlands.
The EPA has extended the public comment period for the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule to October 20, 2014. Information about the proposed rule, including how to file a comment, can be found at www.epa.gov/uswaters.
The National League of Cities, along with other national local government organizations, has submitted comments on behalf of cities seeking additional time and scientific data prior to the proposed rule adoption. Those comments are available here.
League Staff will continue to monitor and report on this rulemaking process.