On January 23, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define “Waters of the United States” and thereby establish federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. For the first time, the agencies are streamlining the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before.
How does this rule affect golf course owners and operators?
This new regulatory definition provides golf course owners clearer guidance and affords them an opportunity to make needed repairs and renovations with facing expensive federal permitting process, while ensuring protection of our valuable watersheds and waterways that support commercial and recreational activities.
What is the NGCOA doing to address the change in definition?
Since the release of the new Rule, a number of organizations are challenging it in federal courts across the United States. NGCOA and allied associations are monitoring the activities in the courts and will keep members abreast of potential impacts to our industry.
How should owners and operators proceed?
NGCOA encourages you to follow this important issue and know that the Clean Water Act has not changed and Navigable Waters Protection Rule is the law. Should changes from future court action we will keep you updated. Remember to always consult with your local and state permitting authority as part of your project planning. Learn more about this issue and discuss it with your peers.