Definitive waters rule rises in wake of Obama EPA ambiguity

With the backdrop of the 2020 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James announced the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Clearly defining “waters of the United States,” it lays to rest one of the most contentious EPA actions—a 2015 Clean Water Act reinterpretation expanding federal authority over bodies of water small and large—attempted under the Obama administration. The new definition will see fewer residential and commercial building development projects subject to federal Clean Water Act (CWA) permits.

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