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US EPA Finalizes New “Waters of the US” Rule

Posted on 6/29/2015 by Roger Marks

In today’s Federal Register, US EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers published a Final Rule, making the new definition of “Waters of the United States” official.

In short, the new rule is designed to help industry professionals and EHS managers more accurately predict which bodies of water are covered under Clean Water Act programs as “waters of the US.” For full coverage of what’s new in the EPA water rule, read more here: EPA Redefines “Waters of the United States.

EPA’s new definition of Waters of the US clarifies which bodies of water are subject to Clean Water Act compliance requirements

Effect on Clean Water Act Compliance

This major new rule will affect compliance with major Clean Water Act programs for industry, most notably:
  • Oil Discharge Notifications (40 CFR 110);
  • Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans (40 CFR 112);
  • NPDES Permitting and Stormwater Discharge Permits (40 CFR 122);
  • The “per-industry standards” (40 CFR 405-471); and
  • Dredge and Fill Permitting (33 CFR 323).
The rule puts certain bodies of water under the scope of US EPA Clean Water Act programs “by rule” and provides criteria to determine, on a case-by-case basis, when other bodies of water are covered.

This new rule is effective on August 28, 2015.

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Tags: Act, Clean, EPA, new rules, Water, WOTUS

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