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On January 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their widely anticipated final rule defining the term “waters of the United States.” This rule is the replacement for the repealed Obama Clean Water Rule. The definition of this term is critical because it determines what waters the EPA and Corps can regulate under the Clean Water Act. In the past, the agencies have struggled to develop a definition that passes legal muster, in large part because of their expansive interpretation of the law. This overreach has often undermined property rights and made it difficult for Americans to use their property for even ordinary activities, such as farming. How does the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” define “waters of the United States”? Does it cover too many or too few waters and does it provide clarity for property owners? Does it respect the primary state role in addressing water pollution as envisioned by Congress? Join us as we carefully examine this new rule and get different perspectives on its potential impact.
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