WOUSWaters of the United States
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References in periodicals archive ?
In Rapanos, the Supreme Court considered whether the wetlands "adjacent" to tributaries of "traditional navigable waters" were WOUS. In deciding the case, the justices issued five decisions regarding the scope and identification of WOUS.
For businesses and regulators, uncertainty in the WOUS definition has been a double-edged sword.
The proposed rule retains the basic structure of the agencies' longstanding definition of WOUS, including existing definitions of the key terms "wetland" and "adjacent," and has added clarifying definitions for key terms from Supreme Court decisions, such as "significant nexus" and "tributary." EPA's stated goal is for it to be a rule that is "clear and understandable and which protects the nation's waters, consistent with the law and currently available scientific and technical expertise." To their credit, the agencies state they "seek to promote continuity with the existing regulations, [which] where possible, will reduce confusion and will reduce transaction costs for the regulated community and the agencies."