The definition and regulation of wetlands and other waters of the U.S. have undergone a number of changes in the past 20 years. Various rules have been promulgated over that time in an attempt to create a more defined and streamlined permitting process. The courts—from the U.S. Supreme Court down to the appellate and federal district courts—have weighed in on the limits of jurisdiction and what can—or can’t—be regulated. In the past three years, the situation surrounding defining waters of the U.S. and determining what activities are regulated has resulted in a patchwork of effective rules and an erosion of predictability in the permitting process. In 2015, the Clean Water Rule was passed seeking to more closely define waters of the U.S. Subsequent litigation and attempted rulemaking have caused confusion within the governing agencies and regulated community. In addition, various court decisions regarding groundwater discharges as they relate to waters of the U.S. have caused further confusion. This presentation will discuss the latest updates to wetlands regulations and provide guidance on how to plan and construct your project to avoid—or minimize—the regulatory burden of the 404 permitting process.

Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Peter McKone
Senior Project Director
Weaver Consultants Group
Fort Worth, Texas, USA