The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have released a cost-benefit analysis in support of their proposed rule to regulate all waters of the U.S. under the Clean water Act. According to the analysis, the greatest costs would be incurred by developers, mining companies, landowners and other permit applicants. These parties could be required to mitigate losses of wetlands and streams and to obtain dredge-and-fill permits and stormwater runoff permits under the proposed rule.
The agencies estimated the benefits of protecting headwaters of larger navigable rivers, associated wetlands, and other open waters based on expected improvements in marine and land-based wildlife habitat and related biodiversity, as well as enhanced recreational and fishing opportunities.
NAR, along with the Waters Advocacy Coalition, has serious concerns about the credibility of this analysis and will be submitting its own economic impact analysis when the proposed rule is released for public review and comment.
Economic Analysis of Proposed Revised Definition of the Waters of the U.S.