The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Research and Development released the final science report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters. The report concludes that streams, wetlands, and other open-waters influence the integrity of downstream waters through both structural and functional connections. EPA, along with other federal agencies and states, can use this scientific report to inform policy and regulatory decisions, including the Clean Water Rule being developed jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This controversial proposed regulation that would place more water bodies under federal authority, which would result in more property rights violations, more time consuming and expensive permits, more regulatory red tape, and less economic development. NAR, as part of a broad-based coalition of regulated stakeholders, has opposed this rule in part because the science does not demonstrate direct connections between all waters and downstream pollution. In addition, NAR believes the Clean Water Act does not allow federal jurisdiction over all waters.
NAR will continue its legislative and regulatory efforts to have this rule withdrawn and start over to develop more effective ways to protect the quality of our country's water.