21 April 2020 - EPA and Army Publish the Navigable Waters Protection Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” was published in the Federal Register. This final rule establishes the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters and provides specific exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated. The final rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. The published version is 93 pages, and the citation is: 85 FR 22250. The Federal Register notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/21/2020-02500/the-navigable-waters-protection-rule-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. Additional information about the rule can be found on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.
28 Jan 2020 - NRCS and Army rescind 2005 joint memorandum The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army have provided written notice to rescind the 2005 joint memorandum titled "Guidance on Conduction Wetland Determinations for the Food Security Act of 1985 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act". This rescission is effective immediately. This rescission does not alter the roles or responsibilities of the Agencies under their respective statutory and regulatory authorities. The Agencies will continue their practice of informing landowners that wetland delineations (performed by the Corps) and determinations (performed by the NRCS) may not be valid for FSA or CWA requirements, respectively. The Agencies intend to issue new guidance on this topic in the near future.
23 January 2020 - EPA and Army announce new rule defining waters of the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army today finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and clarifies the limits of federal control under the Clean Water Act. This rule and existing state, local, and tribal regulations and programs will provide a network of coverage for the nation’s water resources in accordance with the objective and policies of the Clean Water Act. The rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register in late February and will become effective 60-days following publication. The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program is to protect the nation’s aquatic resources and navigable capacity while allowing economic development through fair and balanced decisions. More information on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule is available at https://www.epa.gov/nwpr
23 December 2019 - Effective December 23, 2019 the EPA and Army will Implement the "Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules"
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army published a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule (2015 Rule) and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" that existed prior to 2015. The rule is available on the Federal Register. The rule is effective on December 23, 2019. The agencies will implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. More information
The interim approved jurisdictional determination form and user manual for the Navigable Waters Protection Rule are provided here for transparency purposes only, and these materials are for internal use only by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.