As previously reported on Conduit Street, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers have released a proposed rule that would change the definition of waters under the federal Clean Water Act. The proposed change to the definition “waters of the United States” could subject county maintained road and drainage ditches to the oversight and permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act. MACo has asked for county input regarding the potential impact of the proposed rule, which is open for public comment until July 11.
Additionally, MACo is also coordinating with the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo has established a resource page that provides an analysis of the issue and information on how counties can submit their own comments. NACo’s position has been that such ditches should not be included under the Clean Water Act. MACo is considering submitting comments and/or expressing support for the NACo position. Please contact Les Knapp at MACo (firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.269.0043) with your county’s thoughts.