Thursday, February 20, 2014
In a proposed rule leaked to public sources on November 14, the U.S. Environmental Agency and Army Corps of Engineers provide a defintion of “waters of the United States” and other terms in support of its definition. The proposed regulation was immediately described by some, including members of Conress, as a “power grab.” It is more accurately a tacit recognition by the agencies of what they have been doing for more than four years. The only real change that will occur from the rule, if adopted, will be to allow the agencies to determine jurisdiction over a particular stream channel based upon a document review. Verification by field examination will no longer be required.
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