Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Movement underway to clarify the clean water act jurisdiction

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Source: Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

The Obama Administration has sent letters to House and Senate leaders signaling that the Administration supports efforts to clarify the waters that should be protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has introduced legislation in the Senate. A key provision of the bill is a change in the definition of the waters to be protected under the CWA. Whereas the Act now reads ”navigable waters,” Feingold would define the protected waters simply as the “waters of the United States.” The Administration cited four considerations that it hoped the lawmakers would consider for any legislation. The measure should broadly protect the waters of the United States; it should make the definition of the waters protected clear and manageable; it should promote consistency with the agricultural wetland programs; and it should recognize so-called “long-standing practices.”

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