Environment & Energy Report

EPA Lawyer Foresees Nagging Regulatory ‘Patchwork’ on Water Rule

Feb. 7, 2020, 3:35 PM

A patchwork of federal water regulations could be ahead, with different standards in place in different states, the EPA’s top lawyer said Friday.

Speaking at an environmental law conference, General Counsel Matthew Z. Leopold touted the Trump administration’s new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which narrows the types of wetlands and waterways subject to federal oversight under the Clean Water Act.

The point of the regulation, he said, is to stay out of states’ lanes and provide clarity to industry and landowners. But, he acknowledged, a messy landscape of lawsuits over various Environmental Protection Agency efforts to define “waters of the...

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