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EPA Proposes Revised Definition of "Waters of the United States"

February 14th, 2019 by Ann Rippe

Proposed Rule Change
Summary: EPA is proposing to define the term "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act to include waters within the ordinary meaning of the term, such as oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. The proposed definition would include traditional navigable waters, including the territorial seas; tributaries that contribute perennial or intermittent flow to such waters; impoundments of such waters; certain lakes and ponds; and wetlands that abut or have a direct hydrological surface connection to other waters of the United States in a typical year. Ditches are not proposed to be waters of the United States unless they meet certain criteria, such as functioning as traditional navigable waters, or if they are constructed in a tributary or an adjacent wetland and also satisfy the conditions of the proposed definition of "tributary." The proposed definition of "waters of the United States" specifically excludes water features that flow only in response to precipitation; groundwater; prior converted cropland; artificially irrigated areas that would revert to upland if artificial irrigation ceases; certain artificial lakes and ponds constructed in upland; water-filled depressions created in upland incidental to mining or construction activity; stormwater control features excavated or constructed in upland to convey, treat, infiltrate, or store stormwater run-off; wastewater recycling structures constructed in upland; and waste treatment systems. The proposal also clarifies and defines several other terms related to the definition of "waters of the United States."
[Full Text - 84 FR 4154]

Citations: 40 CFR 110.1; 40 CFR 112.2; 40 CFR 122.2

Ann Rippe

Ann Rippe

Manager of Regulatory Services

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