The new rule is technical and does not provide the bright lines needed for ease of compliance. Recent conversations on Capitol Hill have revealed the two agencies are not on the same page about the rule. GCSAA does not have all the answers as to how the rule will be implemented and the agencies have not provided guidance on implementation yet. Below are some general guidelines provided for compliance assistance.
1) WATCH THE JULY 28 WOTUS WEBCAST TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FINAL RULE:
2) DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE JURISDICTIONAL WATERS, AS BEST YOU CAN
Conduct an assessment of your water features, flood plains, wetland and operational/proposed activities that may impact WOTUS. Assess your golf course for water features that connect to other offsite waters of downstream waters. Options:
-- Get a better understanding of the watershed your course is situated in.
-- Walk the golf course.
-- Use Google maps, aeriel photographs, USGS official topographic maps, soil maps to help with your assessment.
- USGS official topographic maps - "blue line" streams strongly indicate perennial or intermittent jurisdictional streams.
- Do the ponds/wetlands have connections (inlets, outlets)?
-- Are you in a floodplain? What is the distance of your ponds/wetlands from other WOTUS in the floodplain?
-- Rule exclusions - Assess whether your water features were created in "dry land".
- Look at the existing floodplain maps. Were your water features developed in prior wetland areas? Review NRCS soil maps.
3) IF THINGS ARE QUESTIONABLE OR UNCLEAR, CONSIDER SEEKING OUT A LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT FOR HELP
You may consider finding an environmental consultant to work with you on any jurisdictional determinations, environmental assessments, stream impacts and flood plain impacts. You can do this before talking to the EPA and/or Corps directly.
-- Find a qualified environmental consultant that may be associated with an engineering firm for plan approvals
-- Ensure they have experience with threatened/endangered species, stream restoration, and regional COE stream assessments
4) SEEK AN OFFICIAL JURISDICTIONAL DETERMINATION, IF NECESSARY AND INQUIRE ABOUT ANY ASSOCIATED PERMITS
-- Determine whether permits (nationwide, individual, or general) are required for discharges of "fill" or other "pollutants".