14 February 2019 - EPA and Army publish proposed revised "waters of the United States" definition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced today the publishing in the Federal Register of the proposed new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The publishing of the proposal and outreach efforts were delayed due to the lapse in appropriations for EPA. Today's notice begins a 60-day public comment period that will close on April 15, 2019. EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast on February 14, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on February 27-28, 2019. Information, including supporting analyses and fact sheets, are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.
14 November, 2018 - Surface Coal Mining Activities - Special Public Notice
19 October, 2018-Flood Recovery and Repair Activities-Special Public Notice-In response to the severe flooding and other storm related damages in the Fort Worth District. Municipalities and owners of damaged property wanting to conduct repair activities resulting in dredging or placing fill in waters of the United States, including rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, and wetlands should review the public notice. Many of the permits have scopes of work and thresholds which allow you to accomplish your project without delay or waiting for an authorization.
October 2018 The National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils has updated the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States to version 8.2 in electronic format at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053171.pdf For more information regarding hydric soils, go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/use/hydric/
2 October, 2018-Regulatory Guidance Letter 18-01
(Compensatory mitigation credits for removal of obsolete dams and other structures from rivers and streams)
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 18-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on the factors they should consider when determining the amount of compensatory mitigation credit generated from the removal of obsolete dams or other structures to restore rivers and streams.
12 September, 2018- "Waters of the United States" Status and Litigation Update
United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, on 12 September 2018, granted a preliminary injunction of the 2015 Clean Water Rule in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The USACE Districts in those three states are operating under the 1986 regulations along with the 2003/2008 guidance documents. (Case 3:15-cv-00162 Document 140 filed in TXSD on 12 Sep, 2018)
On 6 June, 2016, the USEPA signed an Administrative Order to Chesapeake Operating, LLC citing violations of the Clean Water Act resulting from the dredged and fill activities involving wetlands and an intermittent stream just west of Crystal City, Zavala County, Texas. A Consent on Agreement and Final Order between EPA and Chesapeake Operating, LLC to settle violation of Section 301(a) of the Act resulted in a $9,000 civil penalty. Chesapeake Operating, LLC, will also restore the functions of the wetland and stream. The work was discovered by the Fort Worth Regulatory Branch and referred to USEPA.
On 18 March, 2015, the USEPA signed a Consent Agreement and Final Order with CTMGT Tuberville, LLC assessing a Class I civil penalty of $4,500 under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for unauthorized work and a violation of permit conditions on a subdivision in Denton, Texas. The work was discovered by the Regulatory Branch and referred to USEPA as a knowing and willful violation. In addition to the fine, the permittee was ordered to restore the area within permit conditions.