May 28, 2015
On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a final rule clarifying what bodies of water are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Also known as the Clean Water Rule, 40 CFR 230.3 is intended to define what is meant by the term waters of the United States to provide certainty in practice and to reconcile recent Supreme Court decisions. Under this rule, terms such as “tributary” and “significant nexus” are now defined to enable environmental stakeholders and those affected by the rule to streamline permitting decisions and achieve consistent results.

This rule affects a vast array of businesses and industries, particularly real estate development, energy, mining, construction, development, and agriculture. Waterways and ditches previously exempt from federal jurisdiction may now require permitting for discharge or be subject to violations and penalties.

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