The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are seeking comments on a far reaching proposed rule to amend the scope of the waters subject to federal jurisdiction. Many property owners are already familiar with the current permitting process for developments that impact wetlands. However, this proposal will affect all water programs, including stormwater, and will lead to expanded federal permitting requirements.
This proposal is the latest chapter in the complicated and confusing history of the Clean Water Act, which was enacted in 1972. The Act’s objective was to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of our nation’s waters while recognizing, preserving and protecting the primary responsibilities and rights of the states to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution within their borders.”
Due to the highly technical nature of the many points the agencies are seeking information from stakeholders on, NMHC has joined in a request to extend the current 90-day comment period beyond the July 21 deadline and will continue to keep members informed.
Many in the GOP have been actively criticizing the proposal and are asking EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to withdraw it. NMHC members are strongly urged to evaluate the proposal with a focus on how their properties and planned activities would be affected by expanded federal regulation.