The clarifications of the new EPA rules have met with mixed reactions as could be expected. The new rules were forthcoming after Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 left roughly 60 per cent of the country’s streams and many millions of acres of wetlands without clear protections.
The EPA states clearly that the new rule:
“Does not create any new permitting requirements and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.” The release can be seen here en its entirety.
Generally environmentalists welcomed the rules, saying that they now clarify the protections in place for our water resources. Other groups, such as the H2O Coalition, representing industrial use of water, have sent out emails saying the rules will harm Florida’s ecosystem. The rules must yet pass Congress t0 become law.