EPA releases new clean-water rulesEPA releases new clean-water ruleshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=237612020-01-23T06:00:00Z2020-01-23T21:00:00Z

​​​WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency has released new federal clean-water regulations that are less restrictive than those adopted in 2015, eliminating many seasonal streams, small waterways, and wetlands from federal oversight.

The new rules will exclude most roadside and farm ditches, groundwater, farm and stock watering ponds, and water bodies that form only when it rains. 

Waters under federal oversight would be limited to four categories: the territorial seas and navigable waters including oceans and major rivers; perennial and intermittent tributaries; some lakes and ponds; and wetlands adjacent to federal waters.

The 2015 rule expanded the reach of the 1972 Clean Water Act, giving the federal government oversight of some ditches and shallow wetlands that, when swollen with rain, could carry pollution downstream. 

While supporters said the 2015 rule would improve drinking water for more than 100 million Americans, critics said protections extended to dry land and amounted to overreach on property-owner rights.

For more on water rules, check out "Treading Water" by Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Charles Gilliland. 

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