Clean Water Act – WOTUS
The Clean Water Act authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and Environmental Protection Agency to federally regulate “navigable waters,” defined in the Act as the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), including the territorial seas.” All other waters generally remain under the protection of state and local governments.
For decades, confusion surrounding the Clean Water Act’s reach has led to widespread regulatory uncertainty, costly litigation, and stifled economic growth. Once again, the EPA and the Corps have proposed a new rule that would roll back the successful Navigable Waters Protection Rule and replace it with an updated version of the pre-2015 regulatory regime.
California Farm Bureau is working to ensure that the Corps and EPA produce a rulemaking that respects both U.S. Supreme Court precedent and Congressional intent. Additionally, California Farm Bureau believes that any new rulemaking proposed by the Agencies should:
- Ensure landowners can decipher when a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit is required, and
- Ensure farmers and ranchers can navigate both individual or nationwide permits or know when to obtain the services of environmental consultants and legal counsel.