Expiration date: 7/21/2014
On 21 April 2014, the USEPA and the Corps of Engineers (Corps) are publishing for public comment a proposed rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), in light of the U.S. Supreme Court cases in U.S. v. Riverside Bayview, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC), and Rapanos v. United States (Rapanos). The proposed rule was developed to enhance protection for the nation’s public health and aquatic resources, and increase CWA program predictability and consistency by increasing clarity as to the scope of “waters of the United States” protected under the Act.
Developing a final rule to provide the intended level of certainty and predictability, and minimizing the number of case-specific determinations, will require significant public involvement and engagement. Such involvement and engagement will allow the agencies to make categorical determinations of jurisdiction, in a manner that is consistent with the scientific body of information before the agencies – particularly on the category of waters known as “other waters.”