Water Regulations

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What You Need to Know

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ new definition of “waters of the United States” was supposed to clarify what waters are controlled by federal regulations, but instead the rule makes it harder to know how to follow the law.

Over the last 40 years, the Clean Water Act has protected the rivers and lakes we use for transportation and recreation. But the new rule now exerts power over a staggering range of man-made and isolated features – even if they are usually dry or too small to appear on a map. The definitions are complex and vague, and often require case-by-case determinations by the agencies.

The NAM and 13 other organizations filed suit on July 2, 2015, because the new definition bears no connection to the statutory text, far exceeds the authority granted by the Constitution, and violates individual rights. The agencies did not meaningfully consider the financial burdens of the rule and conducted a flawed cost-benefit analysis. We need a clear rule that gives individuals a fair chance to follow the law.

Learn more about the litigation by visiting the Manufacturers’ Center For Legal Action.


Latest News From the NAM
Manufacturers Applaud Senate Action on Waters Regulation

“Today, the Senate took a step toward ensuring and protecting manufacturing growth, productivity and competitiveness as the Obama Administration seeks to expand its regulatory reach to manmade and isolated features—even if they are usually dry or too small to appear on a map. This burdensome, costly and expansive regulation is yet another example of an unbalanced regulation placed squarely on the backs of manufacturers.

“Protecting our nation’s waters is a priority for manufacturers, but we need a balanced regulatory approach that yields a regulation consistent with law and policy. The final waters rule does not meet this standard. Manufacturers will continue to fight this regulation in the courts and will support Congress as it seeks to send this rule back to the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg, November 4, 2015

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