The new proposal appears to closely follow the leaked version of the rule by removing the federal regulatory connection to those waters that are deemed “navigable” and replacing it with a broader definition which would result in federal regulation of virtually all waters. Currently, environmentally sensitive isolated waters not regulated by EPA are under the protection of state authorities.
Despite comments NMHC filed as part of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, EPA has failed to clarify the scientific basis for regulating critical waters that are falling through the regulatory safety net. The agency has instead chosen an overly broad policy that would apply to virtually all waters without regard to their overall significance. The apartment industry will be submitting comments on the rule.