Clean Water Rule Injunction
The Sixth Circuit issued an order staying the new Clean Water Rule nationwide, pending a determination by the court on jurisdiction to review the rule. Thus, the Clean Water Rule is stayed, and the prior 1986 regulations are in effect nationwide. USACE and EPA are evaluating the order and its implications for the litigation that is currently pending in district courts. In the meantime, USACE is not implementing the Clean Water Rule, and is using the 1986 regulations and applicable guidance (those in effect prior to August 28, 2015) in making jurisdictional determinations or taking other actions based on the definition of "waters of the United States".
A Hood Canal waterfront property owner pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the federal felony offense in regards to his unlawful construction of a beachfront bulkhead. The unpermitted work resulted in the loss of sensitive salmon habitat that will require restoration. In addition to the criminal charge, the defendant agreed to pay $60,000 in civil penalties and $60,500 to the Hood Canal Coordinating Council for mitigation of salmon habitat to offset environmental impacts associated with construction of the bulkhead.
New Clean Water Rule published on June 29, 2015 will be effective on August 28, 2015. The Rule describes new processes to identify waters regulated under the Clean Water Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it received a final biological opinion from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries on the nationwide permits that were reissued on Feb. 13, 2012, and went into effect March 19, 2012.