The EPA and the Corps of Engineers Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States" was published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2015. The rule becomes effective on August 28.
The final Clean Water Rule, despite a few changes, would bring under federal jurisdiction all tributaries of streams, lakes and ponds as well as wetlands that affect larger downstream waters. The new rule also has the possibility of sweeping in many other waters on a “case-by-case” basis. Property owners still have a lack of clarity about what is needed or required to not be regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers or the EPA under the Clean Water Act.
NAR is working closely with industry partners and the Waters Advocacy Coalition to oppose and have the rule withdrawn through a coordinated education, legislative, regulatory and legal approach.
NAR supports using the best available science to identify regulated areas, keeping the focus on preserving high value wetlands; requiring that local officials and affected property owners be notified about the presence of wetlands; and using wetlands mitigation banking.
NAR supports the Supreme Court decisions that rejected federal agency attempts to assert jurisdiction over more than navigable waters. NAR believes that only Congress can fundamentally alter the Clean Water Act and will continue to oppose any efforts, whether guidance or proposed regulation, to expand the Act's reach or otherwise infringe on property rights.