Agencies Revise Guidance to Protect Wetlands and Streams

Dec. 4, 2008
EPA and Dept. of the Army clarify geographic scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army are issuing a revised guidance clarifying the geographic scope of jurisdiction under the CWA.

"We are providing improved guidance today to ensure the information is in place to fully protect the nation's streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for water. "The guidance builds upon our experiences and provides consistent direction to our staff and the public."

“We are committed to protecting America’s aquatic resources as required by the Clean Water Act and in accordance with the Supreme Court decision,” said John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant secretary of the Army (Civil Works). “This revised interagency guidance will enable the agencies to make clear, consistent and predictable jurisdictional determinations within the scope of the Clean Water Act.”

The revised guidance replaces previous policy issued in June 2007 and clarifies a June 2006 Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States regarding the scope of the agencies’ jurisdiction under the CWA. The guidance follows the agencies' evaluation of more than 18,000 jurisdictional determinations and review of more than 66,000 comments.

More information on the guidance is available at wetlands/guidance/CWAwaters.html.

Source: EPA