Business Law

Waters of the U.S. Final Rule Released

On January 23, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a final rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act.  The rule, called the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, is the second step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the Executive Order signed on February 28, 2017, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”  As stated by the agencies, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule streamlines the definition of “waters of the United States” “so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before.”  (U.S. EPA, The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (Step Two), available here.) 

A copy of the pre-publication version of the final rule and associated documents can be accessed here.

This article was originally prepared by Kari Fisher ( of California Farm Bureau Federation, in Sacramento, CA, and is republished with permission.

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