EPA Proposes Change to Clean Water Act Rule and Definition of the Term “Waters of the U.S.”

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a proposed rule changes related to the Clean Water Act and the definition of the term “Waters of the United States.” If adopted, it is believed they will greatly expand the jurisdictional reach of the CWA and change how municipal stormwater systems are categorized.

For local governments and public agencies, these changes could ultimately stop, delay or increase the cost of public projects and make managing public infrastructure more difficult. The environmental impacts of stormwater runoff are significant; however it is in the public interest, both environmentally and economically, to manage and regulate these issues as new infrastructure is planned and constructed – not through retroactive regulations and mandates from the federal government.

Recently, BB&K invited public agencies and local governments to learn more about the proposed changes during a webinar. Participants discussed the issues, as well as a coalition that being formed to provide a unified voice for public entities in the comment process. The webinar also covered possible legislative activity in response to the proposed rule.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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