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EPA and Army Propose Revised “Waters of the U.S.” Definition

On Monday December 11, 2018,the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) proposed a revised definition of “waters of the United States” that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule outlines six categories of waters that would be considered “waters of the United States”and would be federally regulated: 1) traditional navigable waters, 2)tributaries to those waters, 3) certain ditches, 4) certain lakes and ponds, 5) impoundments of jurisdictional waters, and 6) wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters.

The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” Once published in the Federal Register, the agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019 and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019.

A copy of the pre-publication version of the proposed rule and associated fact sheets can be found here.

This article was originallyprepared by Kari Fisher (kfisher@cfbf.com) of California Farm Bureau Federation, in Sacramento, CA, and is republishedwith permission.

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