waters of the united states

The Court’s decision has prompted the US Army Corps of Engineers to freeze jurisdictional determinations for permitted activities pending additional guidance.

By Michael G. Romey, Lucas Quass, and Peter R. Viola

On May 25, 2023, by a narrow 5-4 majority, the US Supreme Court ruled in Sackett v. EPA that the Clean Water Act (CWA) only extends to wetlands that have a “continuous surface connection” with “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) — the term in the CWA’s definition of “navigable waters” that determines the jurisdiction of the US Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (together, the Agencies) over projects and other activities requiring permits to dredge, fill, or discharge into federally protected waters.[1]

By Paul Singarella, Claudia O’Brien and David Amerikaner

The proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act, which originally was announced on March 25, 2014 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), formally was published in the Federal Register on Monday, April 21, 2014. (Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 76, Monday, April 21, 2014, at pages 22187-22274.) The text of the proposed rule is substantively identical to the March 25 pre-release version.