Deep Dive Episode 50 – Analyzing the New Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”

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On February 14, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  This is a critical definition because it clarifies the waters that are regulated under the CWA.

For decades, the EPA and Corps have struggled to come up with a proper definition that is both consistent with the plain language of the statute, respects the state role in addressing water pollution, and is consistent with the rule of law.  Does the new proposed rule address these concerns?  What are some of the concerns with the proposed rule?  How should the EPA and the Corps define key terms such as “tributaries” and “adjacent wetlands?”  Should a final rule include intermittent waters?

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Deidre Duncan


Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Tony Francois

Senior Attorney

Pacific Legal Foundation

Daren Bakst

Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

The Heritage Foundation

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