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New Federal Water Rules Released

May 29, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday announced new water rules that enhance and clarify protections under the Clean Water Act.
 
The goal is to curtail pollution in streams, rivers, and wetlands. California already has some of the nation’s most stringent environmental protection regulations. However, the new rule could expand the number of waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act.
 
In brief, the rules:
  • Clearly defines and protects tributaries from pollutants that impact the health of downstream waters;
  • Provides certainty in how far clean water safeguards extend to nearby waters;
  • Focuses on streams, not manmade ditches. Maintains the status of waters within Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. The rule does not change how those waters are treated and encourages the use of green infrastructure; and
  • Reduces the use of case-specific analysis of waters. 
The EPA has posted information on the new rule including fact sheets and other resources.
 


 
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