The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) issued a new rule on May 27, 2015 that will help better protect the waters of the nation. The rule clarifies which of our waters will be protected, including the small rivers, streams, and wetlands in and through national parks that provide clean drinking water for visitors and habitat for park wildlife.

What the Clean Water Rule Does

What the Clean Water Rule Does Not Do

  • Cover any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act, such as groundwater. The proposed rule actually applies to fewer waters than were historically covered under the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations.
  • Expand coverage to any new ditches. In fact, upland drainage ditches with less than perennial water flow are explicitly excluded.
  • Cover any artificial lakes, ponds, and artificial ornamental waters in upland areas or water-filled depressions created as a result of construction activity. These areas are explicitly exempted by the rule.
  • Cover agricultural practices exempt under current law. The most common farming and ranching practices, including plowing, cultivating, seeding, minor drainage, harvesting for the production of food, fiber and forest products, are exempt under the CWA and that exemption is reiterated in the proposed rule.
For more information:


  • Urge the Senate to support the final Clean Water Rule

    Oct 2015

    1,962 letters sent

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