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The Intended Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Date

December 2011
41

Issue

12

Page

11118

Type

Articles

Summary

In an unnecessarily exaggerated response to U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past decade, the agencies that implement the Clean Water Act have substantially reduced the scope of waters that are considered jurisdictional “waters of the United States” under the Act. The agencies are now working on new guidance and regulations that would be a step toward restoring the intended scope of “waters of the United States.” However, in an attempt to narrow interpretations of the Act, opponents of clean water regulation have sought to rewrite the history of the Act and its implementation. Their revisionism seeks to obfuscate the intended scope of “waters of the United States” and dissuade the agencies from reaffirming the broad scope and purpose of the Act.