Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-25-2011   #1
Andy H.'s Avatar
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Definition of 'Waters of the United States'

FYI - something we should be interested in. I haven't dived into this yet, just getting it out there to other interested parties.


New Guidance Document for Clean Water Act Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Is Open to Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have developed draft guidance for determining whether a waterway, water body, or wetland is protected by the Clean Water Act.

This guidance would replace previous guidance to reaffirm protection for critical waters. It also will provide clearer, more predictable guidelines for determining which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act. The draft guidance will be open for 60 days of public comment to allow all stakeholders to provide input and feedback before it is finalized.

The draft guidance will reaffirm protections for small streams that feed into larger streams, rivers, bays, and coastal waters. It will also reaffirm protection for wetlands that filter pollution and help protect communities from flooding. Discharging pollution into protected waters (e.g., dumping sewage, contaminants, or industrial pollution) or filling protected waters and wetlands (e.g., building a housing development or a parking lot) require permits.

This guidance will keep safe the streams and wetlands that affect the quality of the water used for drinking, swimming, fishing, farming, manufacturing, tourism, and other activities essential to the American economy and quality of life. It also will provide regulatory clarity, predictability, consistency, and transparency.

The EPA and the Corps will follow up the final guidance with rulemaking to provide further opportunity for comment and to clarify Clean Water Act regulations.

To learn more, visit the EPA Web site.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-26-2011   #2
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Non-navigable River Blues — High Country News

is about navigability, Raponos and a bit about the expansion of "navigable waters" to "waters of the United States". "Navigable waters" is basically only waterways, more or less, while "waters of the US" includes wetlands, etc

"The Clean Water Restoration Act would remove navigability as a benchmark for deciding if rivers and streams fall under federal control, and replace it with a greatly expanded standard that would include intermittent streams."-- page 6

Here's an excellent video that confirms and clarifies "navigable waters" for EPA purposes. The yet to be enacted "Clean Water Restoration Act" gets rid of the effects of Raponos, an incredibly bad SCOTUS ruling, and defines "waters of the United States", a great environmentally sound all encompassing language designed to protect rather than enable developers to pay less for permits and screw up the water as Raponos did.

btw, the LA float is a good example of a "protest float" done right that got results when people stand up for their rights. An action like this is one flashpoint way to light that day we all yearn for...
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Old 05-27-2011   #3
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Typical government response. Two hands moving in different directions. Also typical is what happened to Heather getting suspended for blowing the whistle. When you work for the government, they own you (literally).

The cool thing they could do in the restoration is get rid of all of that ugly, stinking, gross,and despicable concrete. Replace it with plants that will bind the soil to the streamside and create a habitat and wetland.
And the Lord said, let there be whitewater. So on Friday, the 13th day of the month....
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Old 08-17-2011   #4
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More LA River news:

Launching a new vision of the L.A. River - Environment -

Implies access is granted for $50 pp. I imagine that would cause a revolt in Colorado.
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Old 08-17-2011   #5
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Does this mean we can't pee inthe river anymore?
Who's your monkey?
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Old 08-17-2011   #6
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All of this won't matter in a few years when the new Republican President and Congress abolished the EPA and all pollution standards and enforcement we enjoy today.
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Old 08-17-2011   #7
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Heather didn't just get threatened with suspension, according to the Miami article she either left or was asked to leave. Crazy.

The corps later found images of Wylie and others kayaking down the river and threatened to suspend her for 30 days, saying the unapproved expedition "undermined the corps' authority."
After months of negotiations, she and Toy's predecessor at the corps reached a settlement and she left the agency.

Read more: Launching a new vision of the L.A. River - Environment -
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