Waters of the U.S.

July 2015Articles In the Zone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released their rule for defining “Waters of the United States.” The rule outlines what waters are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. Permits from the Army Corps of Engineers are required under the rule for all dredging and filling activities related to construction in these areas. The agencies have, however, codified a number of exemptions in the rule relating to ditches that do not flow year round; settling basins used during construction activities; erosional features that do not have a bed, bank and ordinary high water mark; and stormwater control features that are created in dry land, among others.