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New Rule – Clean Water Rule (80 FR 37054), June 29, 2015 – Clean Water Rule is effective on August 28, 2015

Since publication of the rule in the Federal Register, numerous lawsuits were filed challenging the regulation, and several parties sought preliminary injunctions to delay implementation of the rule.  On August 27, 2015, United States District Courts in Georgia and West Virginia agreed with the Agencies that legal challenges to the Rule could only be brought in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and therefore denied the requests for preliminary injunction.  However, the District Court for North Dakota found that it had jurisdiction and granted the request of a number of States and issued a decision preliminarily enjoining the Clean Water Rule.

Under the order issued by the District Court of North Dakota, the parties that obtained the preliminary injunction are not subject to the new rule, and instead continue to be subject to the prior regulation.  In light of the order, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will continue to implement the prior regulation in the following States:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

In all other States, the new Clean Water Rule is effective on August 28.

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  • 29 Jun 2015 - Federal Register Notice Announcing the Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States. The effective date for the Clean Water Rule is 28 Aug 2015.
  • 27 May 2015 - The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the release of the Clean Water Rule.
  • 6 October 2014 - The comment period for the Clean Water Act proposed rule for defining "waters of the United States" was further extended until 14 November 2014. Please click here for additional information.
  • 10 June 2014 - In response to numerous requests, the comment period for the Clean Water Act rule announced on 21 April 2014 was extended for 91 days until 20 Oct 2014.  Please click here for the Public Notice.
  • 21 April 2014 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the publication of a joint proposed rule for the definition of Waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act in the Federal Register for a 90-day public comment period. For the Public Notice with additional information on the proposed rule, click here. More information on the proposed rule can also be found by National Notices and Program Initiatives.

Former Rule -- 1986 Regulations, 2003 SWANCC and 2008 Rapanos Guidance Documents

Continue to use after effective date of the Clean Water Rule for approved jurisdictional determination requests associated with pending applications, including pre-construction notifications, which were determined complete on or before June 29, 2015 and to those requests located in the states listed above subject to the preliminary injunction.
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  • 2003 SWANCC Guidance - Guidance clarifying the Supreme Court’s decision in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. USACE (2001) and federal regulation of "navigable waters".