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EPA’s “Waters of the United States” Rule

“The EPA’s final ‘Waters of the United States’ rule places an undue burden on the heart and soul of our economy — weakening small business and manufacturers, overruling landowners, and greatly restricting oil and natural gas exploration,” said PESA President Leslie Shockley Beyer.

The Administration finalized new regulations Wednesday, May 27, that extends the Clean Water Act’s protections to all tributaries with signs of flowing water.

The rule is meant to make it clearer which waterways EPA and the Corps of Engineers can oversee under the 43-year-old Clean Water Act, which covers “navigable waters” such as the Mississippi River and Lake Erie but is vague on how far upstream protections must go to keep those water bodies clean.

The new regulations are due to take effect 60 days after publication, but critics in Congress have vowed to block them. Politico reports, “It remains to be seen which group from any number of industries, states and cities will file the first complaint against the two agencies and the 297 pages of regulatory language, definitions and appendixes that the administration has dubbed the Clean Water Rule, but they’ll no doubt argue the federal government strayed too far from the Clean Water Act’s mission to regulate ‘navigable waters.’”

Sources:

Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/epa-waterways-wetlands-rule-118319.html

LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-epa-clean-water-act-20150527-story.html