EPA Finalizes Contentious "Waters of the US" Rule

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long anticipated "Waters of the US" (WOTUS) final rule. The final rule aims to clarify what constitutes a water of the U.S. under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Traditionally, the definition has been largely tied to "navigable" waters. However, the final rule now expands EPA’s jurisdiction over navigable and non-navigable waters further upstream; potentially threatening current and future activities on or near those covered areas, including ready mixed concrete plants.

Clarifications included in the final rule exclude operations at ready mixed concrete plants from the final rule’s new definitions; however, uncertainties remain when considering expansions at ready mixed concrete plants, constructing new plants and how third-party environmental citizen suits will be impacted. NRMCA is still reviewing the final rule to determine specifically how the rule impacts the ready mixed concrete industry and how concrete producers may need to comply. More detailed information will be available in the coming weeks. Currently, the final rule is only in a pre-publication form. Once the official version is released, the final rule will be effective 60 days from the publication date.

Click here to view the pre-publication final rule. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association