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Clean Water Rule Finalized—Clarifies Protection of Streams and Waterways

The Obama Administration has moved forward with "one of the most controversial environmental regulations in recent years."
May 27, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers said they are making final their proposed waters of the United States rule, which Republicans and many businesses have long panned as a massive federal overreach that would put the EPA in charge of ditches, puddles and wet areas," writes Timothy Cama.

In a post on the EPA website, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works make the case for the new Clean Water Rule, citing the benefits of clean water to public health, the nation's economy, and more.

According to Cama's take on the Obama Administration's policy agenda, as achieved with the new Clean Water Rule, "McCarthy and other Obama officials sought to emphasize that the rule is about increasing clarity for businesses and helping make it easier to determine which waterways are subject to the pollution rules of the Clean Water Act."

The new environmental regulation has provoked opposition from Republican members of Congress as well as interests from the agriculture and golf industries. Administrator McCarthy counters with a list of limitations to the new rule: "It does not interfere with private property rights or address land use….It does not regulate any ditches unless they function as tributaries. It does not apply to groundwater or shallow subsurface water, copper tile drains or change policy on irrigation or water transfer."

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Published on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in The Hill
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