A recent memorandum was executed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Army (Army Corps of Engineers) that withdrew an Interpretive Rule that concerned the applicability of the Clean Water Act to farmers.
This Interpretive Rule, which had been in effect since March of 2014, outlined which conservation activities provided farmers an exemption from Clean Water Act permitting. Farmers, and their supports, contended that this Interpretive Rule actually made it more difficult for farmers to understand the requirements of the Clean Water Act and to work effectively with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to ensure sound conservation practices.
The withdrawal of the Interpretive Rule was effective January 29, 2015. However, The Waters of the U.S. proposal is continuing to receive consideration from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.