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Waters of the United States Rule

Today is the comment deadline for the Revised Definition of Waters of the United States, which determines which waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act. This revised definition would remove ephemeral streams from Clean Water Act jurisdiction. It is supported by entities such as the National Corn Growers Association and the National Association of Home Builders because the revised definition may reduce the regulatory burden affecting private lands. Other groups such as the National Association of Counties express concerns that the new rule may lead to confusion about which streams are regulated. A large number of scientific organizations oppose the revised definition because of its potential for leading to reduce water quality and wildlife habitat.

Here is a new comment written by scientists at Colorado State University opposing the revised definition because it would substantially reduce Clean Water Act protection for streams in the dry western U.S., where most streams are ephemeral.

Ephemeral streams make up the majority of stream length in much of the country but could lose protection.

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