The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are redefining the definition of "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) within the Clean Water Act and this change will impact all CWA programs. GCSAA members need to pay attention to this important change, which will impact golf course design, construction and management. They are changing what surface waters come under federal regulation vs. state regulation. This could mean more permits and increased costs or delays. In addition, courses could be subject to citizen action lawsuits.
The EPA and Army Corps jointly released a final rule to clarify protection under the CWA for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources on June 29, 2015. The WOTUs rule was supposed to be effective Aug. 8, 2015. However, the 6th Circuit Cout of Appeals put the rule on hold nationwide on Oct. 9, 2015. It is likely that the case will be resolved in 2016.
GCSAA does not provide legal advice and in some cases limits technical advice such as actual jurisdictional determinations of WOTUS.