Clean Water Act Definition of “Waters of the United States”

The Council provided comments on the draft guidance released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Corps of Engineers for determining whether a waterway, water body or wetland is protected by the Clean Water Act.  Interpretations of Supreme Court rulings have removed some critical waters from federal protection and have caused confusion about which waters and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act.  As a result, this guidance would replace previous guidance to reaffirm protection for critical waters.  The new guidelines are intended to provide clearer, more predictable guidelines for determining which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act.  The draft guidance was open until July 31st for public comment so stakeholders could provide comments before it was finalized.

The Council provided comments on the draft guidance prior to the deadline.  Our organization expressed concern about how the draft guidance expands jurisdictional authority unnecessarily.  The Council also commented on the negative impact the draft guidance could have on the state’s economic recovery.  You can read the guidelines and Council comments at the links below.

Read and learn more about the proposed guidance

Council Comments