Public Comment Period Closed on Proposed Rule to Expand Definition of "Waters of the U.S."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources on April 21, 2014. GCSAA members need to pay attention to this important rulemaking which could have severe negative effects on the golf industry. The Agencies are redefining the definition of "Waters of the United States" within the CWA and this change will impact all CWA programs. The Agencies are essentially taking the word "navigable" out of the CWA and making nearly every drop of water on a golf course property (including ditches and non-wetland swales) come under federal jurisdiction. This means more permits and increased costs and potential course management delays as well as course operations coming under the umbrella of citizen action lawsuits.
The comment deadline ended November 14, 2014. GCSAA worked with the CMAA, NGCOA, ASGCA, NCA, GCBAA, and PGA of America to develop joint comments to submit to the federal docket by the November 14 deadline.
Please find the golf industry's comments here.
Please find the Waters Advocacy Coalition comments here (GCSAA was signatory).
Learn more today about the "Waters of the U.S." proposed rule and the possible impact on your course operations:
- Reed Smith WOTUS client alert
- EPA WOTUS landing page
- WOTUS overview during April 16 GCSAA Government Relations Quarterly Briefing
- AFBF "Ditch the Rule" campaign
- WOTUS Congressional Leave Behind
- "Will Changes to 'Waters of the U.S.' Float Your Boat?" (GCSAA Field Staff Kevin Doyle blog posting)
- EPA's April 7 webinar on the "Waters of the U.S." proposed rule
Please contact Chava McKeel at (800) 472-7878, ext. 3619 to discuss the WOTUS issue further.