Monday, August 31, 2015

New USEPA Clean Water Rules In Force In Illinois

Despite a ruling by North Dakota Federal Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo barring enforcement of EPA’s new clean water rules in 13 states, the agency announced that it will enforce the new regulations in all 37 states which were not joined in that particular litigation, including in Illinois. Judge Erickson’s ruling bars enforcement of the new rules on permits required for activities affecting small tributary streams and other waters on private property within Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Different states have similar litigation proceeding elsewhere, with a court hearing scheduled in another case against the rules in New York on October 1.

The agency seems confident the new rules will ultimately be held enforceable everywhere, despite legislation pending in both houses of Congress to block the new rules. Meanwhile, construction contractors and property owners in Illinois who are proposing work on property with wetlands or small streams need to contact USEPA and apply for permits required under these new regulations, or face potential fines and penalties should EPA ultimately prevail in this protracted legal battle. Better safe than sorry.
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