The Trump Administration repealed the 2015 Clean Water Rule on December 23rd, 2019, clearing the way for a new definition of WOTUS. On Jan. 23, 2020, the EPA and the Army Corps released the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The new rule significantly improves upon the regulatory clarity of WOTUS by simplifying the definition of WOTUS. Key changes include:
- Limiting tributaries to surface water conveyances that contribute perennial or intermittent flow during the year.
- Limiting adjacent waters to those wetlands that either touch or have a hydrological connection to a water covered by the CWA.
- Limiting ditches to those that 1. fall into the category of traditional navigable waters; 2. are constructed in tributaries or relocate or alter tributaries; or 3. are constructed in adjacent wetland and meet the tributary definition.
GCSAA does not provide legal advice and in some cases limits technical advice such as actual jurisdictional determinations of WOTUS.