Pending WOTUS (Waters of the United States) Determination

The pending WOTUS (Waters of the United States) determination for regulation to our natural resources is currently in flux and we are patiently awaiting how the regulations will effect our environment.  Historically, before wetland regulation and oversight, negative changes to our environment occurred; such as flooding, water quality degradation, river contamination and loss of wildlife. It’s important to have wetlands regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) so that projects with proposed wetland impacts obtain federal approval before filling wetlands. To determine what is defined as a navigable waterway is the issue at hand and currently it is written that Rivers, Streams, Lakes, Ponds, Swamps, Bogs and Marshes are currently under the jurisdiction of the USACOE. If there is a proposed wetland loss, the developer’s USACOE permit will call for a mitigation solution to demonstrate that there is a “no-net loss” of wetlands. In the new proposal, navigable waters of the U.S. would be only applicable to Rivers, Streams, Lakes and Ponds. Therefore, the swamps, bogs and marshes, will be left unprotected by USACOE regulation. If these changes do occur, the power would completely shift to the states who would rightfully assume to provide the oversight and regulation.
The purpose for regulation and oversight on all wetlands is critical because it is imperative to demonstrate that the developer showed that the impacts to wetlands were minimized and avoided and to provide mitigation for any damage the project may cause to the environment. Impacted wetlands need to be mitigated by preserving and restoring wetlands of equal or greater hydrological value by doing onsite, offsite or purchasing mitigation credits from a mitigation bank.
Victoria K. Bruce

Trump’s move to redefine water rule

Re-writing the Rule