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Regulators Announce Final Rule on Waters of the U.S.

Regulators Announce Final Rule on Waters of the U.S.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the U.S. Department of the Army recently announced a final rule establishing a revised definition for the “waters of the United States.” The new definition will directly impact implementation of regulations under the Clean Water Act, which provides the basis for federal programs to impose a wide variety of water quality standards, including oil spill prevention, preparedness and response programs, state and tribal water quality certification programs, and dredged and fill programs.

The rulemaking follows President Biden’s January 2021 signing of Executive Order 13990 on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, which directed EPA and the Army “to immediately review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take action to address the promulgation of Federal regulations [including the Navigable Waters Protection Rule or ‘NWPR’] and other actions during the last four years that conflict with these important national objectives.” President Biden’s order also revoked Executive Order 13778 of February 28, 2017 (Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule), which resulted in promulgation of the NWPR.
More information, including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice and fact sheets, is available at EPA’s “Waters of the United States” website at:

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