In its comments, NACD expressed concerns and requested additional clarification on the following definitions: tributaries, adjacency, other waters and significant nexus. As drafted, the proposed rule would substantially expand CWA jurisdiction, granting EPA and the Corps broad authority and discretion to regulate wetlands and other water bodies remote from traditionally navigable waters, NACD noted.
By policy, NACD opposes any measure that expands jurisdiction of the CWA. After completing an economic analysis, EPA and USACE have estimated the rule would result in a three-percent increase in CWA jurisdiction. The amount of expansion is difficult to predict with any meaningful precision; however, if the rule were to encompass all adjacent waters and most isolated wetlands and ditches, NACD estimates it would be significantly greater than three-percent. Regardless, even a three-percent increase in jurisdictional areas would be significant, considering the total number of acres affected and the associated potential economic impacts.
See the NACD news release here.