The Arizona Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee has introduced a bill (SB1493) to allow the state to assume the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Dredge and Fill Program. Because there must be identical federal and state language in some portions of the bill, it is expected that the bill will be amended to conform to federal language and requirements. An amendment with these technical corrections is also expected to be introduced on February 5, 2018.
An additional amendment is also expected to be introduced to SB1493 whereby current Corps jurisdictional determinations would be grandfathered into ADEQ’s 404 program. It also attaches permanence to those determinations with a few exceptions if:
(1) physical changes have occurred that affect the water’s jurisdictional status,
(2) the federal definition of Waters of the United States changes, or
(3) additional data shows that a Corps determination was made based on inaccurate data.
This will provide stakeholders certainty regarding what waters are or are not waters of the United States subject to the 404 program.
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