On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (U.S. ACE) proposed a new definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The significance of this proposal is that WOTUS are the waters that these agencies regulate under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Some of the significant aspects of the proposed new definition include:
- Defining WOTUS as including Traditional Navigable Waters (TNW, which are primarily waters upon which interstate commerce could be conducted), intermittent and perennial streams, ditches, channels that are relocated tributaries, impounded streams, wetlands adjacent to streams, and wetlands that have a direct connection to TNW.
- Excluding ephemeral streams, which are those that only flow during heavy rainfall events.
- Replacing the Significant Nexus test with clear, defined categories, making WOTUS easier to determine and not subject to continual legal interpretations.
Article provided by Civil & Environmental Consultants