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EPA offers Clean Water Rule explanations

News | May 29, 2015 | By:

“To protect streams and wetlands critical to public health and economy”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads off its May 27 press release regarding the finalized Clean Water Rule with this quote: “[It] does not create any new permitting requirements and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.”

The EPA and U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Rule May 27 “to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.”

The press release said that the Rule’s provisions under the Clean Water Act “are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry. The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, and is shaped by public input. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.”

The EPA worked with the Assistant Secretary of the Army/Civil Works (ASA/CW) to formulate the Clean Water Rule.

“Today’s rule marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Clean Water Act,” said the ASA/CW Jo-Ellen Darcy. “This is a generational rule and completes another chapter in history of the Clean Water Act. This rule responds to the public’s demand for greater clarity, consistency, and predictability when making jurisdictional determinations. The result will be better public service nationwide.”

According to the press release, the Clean Water Rule specifically:

  • “defines and protects tributaries that impact the health of downstream waters.
  • “provides certainty in how far safeguards extend to nearby waters. • “protects the nation’s regional water treasures.
  • “focuses on streams, not ditches.
  • “maintains the status of waters within municipal separate storm sewer systems.
  • “reduces the use of case-specific analysis of waters.”

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