US EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have signed a Final Rule to limit and clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act following the repeal
of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule.
At the heart of this Navigable Waters Protection Rule
is a new definition for the key regulatory term “Waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. The definition of WOTUS tells the regulatory community which bodies of water are subject to EPA Clean Water Act programs, including, but not limited to:
- Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Planning.
- Oil spill notifications.
- NPDES permitting.
- Stormwater discharge.
Four Categories of Covered Waters
The new Final Rule lays out four categories of waters that are considered WOTUS: territorial seas and traditional navigable waters; perennial and intermittent tributaries to those waters; certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments; and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters. The new rule also provides a definition for “adjacent wetlands.”
Finally, the new definition of WOTUS explicitly excludes twelve distinct categories of waters. These include many ditches, groundwater, prior converted cropland, and others.
The Final Rule will take effect 60 days after it appears in the Federal Register
. Watch this space for an update when the rule is officially promulgated.
A pre-publication copy of the Final Rule is available on EPA's website.
Live on March 4: New WOTUS Rule Webinar
Get the scoop on EPA’s new Waters of the United States Rule and how it will impact your responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. During this 90-minute webinar, a Lion instructor will cover what’s in the new rule—which waters are covered, new definitions, and how the new regulation compares to previous EPA policy.
Plus, get answers to your questions during the Q&A scheduled for the end of the session.
The first session is scheduled for March 4 at 1 PM ET.
Save your spot here.