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Navigable Waters Protection rule replaces WOTUS

By and |  June 23, 2020
Photo: P&Q Staff

The revised Navigable Waters Protection rule is more in line with the Clean Water Act, NSSGA says. Photo: P&Q Staff

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule went into effect for most of the United States on June 22, according to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA).

The rule is the final replacement for the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

On June 19, Judge Seeborg of the U.S. District Court – Northern District of California denied the motion by some states for the stay of the WOTUS rule. According to NSSGA, the judge neither stayed the rule for specific states or the entire country.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Navigable Waters Protection rule ends decades of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. For the first time, EPA and the Department of the Army recognize the difference between federally protected wetlands and state protected wetlands. It adheres to the statutory limits of the agencies’ authority.

The rule also ensures that America’s water protections remain strong while giving states and tribes the certainty to manage their waters in ways that best protect their natural resources and local economies, EPA says.

According to NSSGA, the uncertainty between the 2015 WOTUS rule and the new Navigable Waters Protection rule created confusion, delays and increased costs for aggregate producers. NSSGA advocated for a more reasonable rule that excludes ditches, dry streambeds and other marginal waters.

The revised rule is more in line with the Clean Water Act, NSSGA says, as well as Supreme Court decisions by navigable waters, tributaries and adjacent wetlands as waters that are federally-regulated.

Information for this article courtesy of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.

Zach Mentz

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