Final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule to be Effective February 6, 2020
Beginning in July 2017, the EPA and the USACE initiated the formal notice to begin the two step process intended to review and revise the Final WOTUS Rule (Congressional Federal Register (CFR § 37053 (2015)) as directed in Presidential Executive Order 13778. The Federal Register published on February 6, 2018 provides the effective date of February 6, 2020 for A Final WOTUS Rule. The notice follows the January 22, 2018 Supreme Court decision lifting the STAY on the rule in Texas. Reference 83 FR 5200 “Definition of Waters of the United States” – Addition of an Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule. The new Final Rule will be published for public comment sometime in 2019.
What does this mean to you?The manner wetlands and waters (including mapped and unmapped tributaries) are to be evaluated is STATUS QUO until the effective date of February 6, 2020. This gives you 2 short years to work under the current defined rules to get projects assessed, fully documented using the Corps of Engineers manual that they contain non-jurisdictional areas, potentially verified by the agency (if appropriate for the project), and graded/cleared to avoid potential negative and expensive changes.