Replacement for WOTUS rule published, takes effect on June 22nd

The replacement rule for WOTUS goes into effect on June 22nd.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers published the new rule in the Federal Register Tuesday, officially replacing the previous rule from last October. 

The new rule will not give the federal government regulatory authority for farm and stock ponds, artificial lakes, wetlands not near a regulated water body, or prior converted croplands.  Swales, gullies, and pools that only flow after rain or snowmelt would also not be regulated by the rule.

An issue the courts are expected to deal with will be the difference between a state or local “ephemeral” stream and a federally regulated “intermittent” stream or streams that only flow after precipitation.   

The new rule is consistent with Supreme Court rulings and President Trump’s executive orders, but several environmental groups have indicated they will file lawsuits as they attempt to restore the Obama-era WOTUS rule.

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