All of the photos in this edition are from NARC’s February National Conference of Regions. Inside you’ll find photos of the NARC members, conference speakers, and members of Congress and the Administration who made this year’s Conference of Regions memorable.
Each month, NARC publishes Regional Councils: This Month in Photos to highlight events and activities taking place in regions around the nation. This month we’re publishing two editions
We feature regional council meetings, board retreats, meetings with state or federal elected officials, the opening of new facilities, special programs, awards, and anything else you view as important or fun to share with your colleagues.
If you would like your region included in Regional Councils: This Month in Photos, please send your photos and a brief description to Neil Bomberg at email@example.com.
Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers have officially released a
revised definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) which determines
the scope of federal regulation under the Clean
Water Act (CWA). The comment period for the revision will be open until
April 15, 2019. The revised definition and comment submission information can
be accessed here.
What would the redefinition do?
would create six categories of regulated waters and eleven categories of
The six categories that would be regulated:
navigable waters, including the territorial seas;
previously separated categories of “navigable waters” and “territorial seas”
would be merged, but regulation of these waters would not be altered.
that contribute perennial or intermittent flow to such waters;
would not include any surface features that only flow as the result of
precipitation. Ephemeral flows like dry washes and arroyos would be excluded.
ditches that also satisfy the conditions of the tributary definition, and
ditches constructed in an adjacent wetland would be included.
lakes and ponds;
and ponds that satisfy the conditions of traditional navigable waters would be
and ponds that contribute a perennial or intermittent flow to other
jurisdictional waters would also be included.
of otherwise jurisdictional waters; and
redefinition would not alter the regulation of impoundments.
adjacent to other jurisdictional waters.
would satisfy the requirement of adjacency if they “abut” or have a “direct
hydrological surface connection” with other jurisdictional waters.
The eleven categories of waters that would be exempted:
or water features that are not identified in the six categories of regulated
including groundwater drained through subsurface drainage systems.
features and diffuse stormwater run-off.
irrigated areas that would revert to upland if artificial irrigation ceases.
artificial lakes and ponds constructed in upland.
water-filled depressions created incidental to mining or construction activity
and pits excavated for the purpose of obtaining fill, sand, or gravel.
control features excavated or constructed in upland to convey, treat,
infiltrate, or store stormwater run-off.
recycling structures constructed in upland.
The background of WOTUS
The definitions of
“Navigable Waters” and “Waters of the United States” have changed multiple
times since the creation of the CWA in 1972. The most recent redefinition
occurred in 2015 and expanded CWA scope, including increased jurisdiction
regarding ephemeral water features and water features adjacent but lacking
direct hydrological connections to jurisdictional waters.
On February 28,
2017, President Trump signed the Executive Order “Restoring
the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the `Waters of
the United States’ Rule.”
This order began the process of developing the currently proposed redefinition.
The intention of this redefinition as stated in the Executive Order is “to
ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while
at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty,
and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the
revised WOTUS definition was released on February 14, 2019 and the comment
period on the rule will be open until April 15, 2019. The latest fact sheets,
infographics, supporting documents, information on the revision can be accessed here on the