The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers April 21 published a proposed rule that aims to clarify the definition of "waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act which would significantly expand federal control of land and water resources across the nation—creating additional permitting and regulatory requirements. The public has until July 21 to submit written comments on the proposed rule.

EPA recently released a draft scientific report on the connectivity of water that is intended to guide the proposed rule. As part of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, ABC submitted comments on the report stating it provides no scientific support to make distinctions between significant connections and non-significant connections.

The report, along with the comments received, is undergoing an independent peer review by the Scientific Advisory Board Panel. The rule will not be finalized until the final version of the scientific assessment is complete.