The EPA contends that the Clean Water Rule should streamline Clean Water Act permitting, but businesses are concerned that the rule will expand federal control over land use.
Under the rule, tributaries and headwaters that show physical features of flowing water are subject to the Clean Water Act, as well as waters next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries. Ditches constructed out of streams or functioning like streams that can carry pollution downstream will also be covered.
Business groups contend that the rule is broader than the EPA describes.
The National Association of Home Builders asserts that the rule would add regulatory burdens to landowners and increase housing costs.
The National Association of Manufacturers contends the rule will extend the federal government's control of manufacturer's on-site activities.
However, the American Sustainable Business Council said the rule is good for businesses that depend on unpolluted water, like microbreweries and water recreation businesses.
The Clean Water Rule still preserves exemptions for farmers, and a Clean Water Act permit is needed only if water is to be polluted or destroyed, according to an EPA news release.