Waters of the U.S.: New Definition Proposed

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a press conference mid-day for the signing of the new proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition. The entirety of the proposed revision to WOTUS is on the EPA website.  This is the second step in the implementation of an Executive Order directing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and revise the WOTUS rule.

This proposed rule reduces the amount of stream and wetlands that will be Federally regulated, but not the extent of state regulatory authority. Under the proposed new definition, ephemeral streams and wetlands that are not touching or connected by surface flow to a stream, river, or tidal waters would no longer be WOTUS (i.e., the definition of adjacent wetlands has changed).  However, the actual definition of wetlands has not changed – so the complexity of wetland delineations will continue.

Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. will monitor this process and will analyze the changes that may impact your projects.  If you have questions about this proposed definition or the 2015 Rule, please contact Mike Rolband, Mark Headly, Ben Rosner, Christie Blevins, or Bob Kerr in Virginia, or Mike Klebasko in Maryland.

You can read about WOTUS definition changes in our previous Field Notes articles:


  • Ben Rosner

    Gainesville, VA

  • Christie Blevins

    Gainesville, VA

  • Bob Kerr

    Virginia Beach, VA

  • Mike Klebasko

    Millersville, MD