LAW360: States, Industry Growing Into New Clean Water Act Reality

At a June 22 budget hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor said the Army Corps has paused making jurisdictional determinations and will not resume doing so until the final rule is issued.
The freeze is frustrating project developers who have pending requests or who want to make new ones, said Prianka Sharma, vice president and counsel for regulatory affairs for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
Sharma, who also represents the Waters Advocacy Coalition, an industry group opposed to the waters of the U.S. rule issued earlier this year, said businesses aren’t comfortable moving forward in a regulatory vacuum, even with the Supreme Court test in place, because the Clean Water Act imposes criminal sanctions for violations.
By the agency saying, ‘We’re not going to issue these until there’s a new final rule,’ they’re stalling things in the summer, which is a major time for construction, a major time for the agricultural industry,” Sharma said. “[For] pretty much all of the members of WAC, these summer months are their key operational months. And so by stalling all of these projects, they’re going to have to wait potentially an entire another season before they can start up again.”