Federal rule proposed to clarify wetlands protections
(AP) Federal agencies are proposing a rule designed to clarify which streams and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act, an issue that remains in dispute even after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers announced the regulation Tuesday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says it's a response to pleas for clarity from state and local officials and well as industry, environmentalists and farmers.
The Clean Water act gives the government jurisdiction over U.S. waters, but there's disagreement over which are covered. Developers have fought in court against regulation of wetlands and streams that they say should be exempt.
Under the proposed rule, protection would be extended to most seasonal streams and wetlands near rivers. Others would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
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