John H. Thorne, Ph.D., “Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act: The Impact on Aerial Application,” Agricultural Aviation Magazine, September/October, 2013.
Despite 40 years of policy tinkering and lawsuits, there is still major disagreement over the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction today. A series of conflicting lower court decisions led the Supreme Court to twice address the definition of “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) with respect to wetlands policy. In 2011 the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to incorporate all of the Justices’ opinions in sweeping, new draft guidance that would greatly increase the number and type of waters regulated by the CWA. This “Washington Report” article examines the current policy status, and its impact on the aerial application business.