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USEPA Announces Final MS4 General Permit Remand Rule

109 Chemical and Microbial Contaminants Included in USEPA's Final CCL4


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U.S. Senators, House Members File Amicus Brief in Suit to Repeal WOTUS Rule

capitalIt appears the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule has a better chance of being rescinded permanently, due to the newly elected Republican controlled White House and Congress. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota outlined several possible ways WOTUS may be repealed:

  • Congress could rescind it legislatively in 2017.
  • The new administration could work through the rule-making process to rescind it.
  • The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now considering the legality of the rule, could strike it down.
  • If the new administration does not appeal the decision, which is likely, the case won’t go to the Supreme Court and the rule would be invalidated.

In mid-November, Sen. Hoeven and several members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives filed an amicus brief in support of petitions for review filed by 31 states and 57 municipal and industry petitioners seeking to overturn the WOTUS Rule. An amicus brief, or “friend of the court” brief, can be filed in order to address concerns and advise the Court on a matter of law that directly affects the case at hand.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued the final Clean Water Rule in May 2015 with broad new definitions of the scope of “waters of the United States” that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Critics of the Clean Water Rule say it is contrary to the Congressional intent of the Clean Water Act and it infringes on the ability of the States to regulate their own natural resources. USEPA has repeatedly said the Clean Water Rule only applies to the types of waters that have historically been covered under the Clean Water Act, which does not include most ditches, groundwater, shallow subsurface flows, or tile drains.

If you have questions about how the Clean Water Rule could impact your facilities, planned projects, or existing programs, contact Jeff Hruby, PE, AE2S Civil Practices Director and AE2S Water Resources Practice Leader, at Jeff.Hruby@ae2s.com.






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