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Will the New Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule Float?

October 2014

Citation: ELR 10857

Author: Bruce Myers, Ken Kopocis, Lance Wood, Deidre Duncan, and Jan Goldman-Carter

On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection for streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Determining Clean Water Act jurisdiction over streams and wetlands has been mired in confusion following a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The agencies issued the proposed rule in response to calls from judges, lawmakers, government officials, corporate representatives, environmentalists, and other stakeholders to bring greater clarity. To address these concerns, the Environmental Law Institute held a seminar, “Will the New Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule Float?,” on May 22, 2014, to bring together a range of perspectives on this controversial topic. The transcript to the event has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Bruce Myers (moderator) is Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute. Ken Kopocis is Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Lance Wood is Assistant Chief Counsel for Environmental Laws and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Deidre Duncan is a partner at Hunton & Williams law firm. Jan Goldman-Carter is Wetlands and Water Resources Counsel at the National Wildlife Federation.

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