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OMB Questions EPA Water Rule

January 17, 2014

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reportedly requested that EPA clarify whether the "significance" of a connection between smaller waterbodies and larger downstream waters marks a technical or policy issue -- echoing questions raised by a coalition of regulated stakeholders, including NAR, who are concerned that the agency may not be adequately weighing the issue as it works to clarify jurisdiction of the  Clean Water Act (CWA).

The issue is critical because how the term is defined could determine when or whether the smaller waters are subject to regulation under the water law. The issue is not whether these waters are connected, but does the strength and level of the connection warrant the expensive permitting and regulation that would be required.

NAR believes that the EPA does not have statutory authority to regulate all waters and believes that is a question only Congress can resolve.