While the litigation over the WOTUS rule wends its tortuous way through the courts, EPA and the Corps have not been idle. Earlier this month, they jointly issued a memorandum on their plans for improving the permitting process. Among other measures, they have reemphasized their commitment to transparency, by making all jurisdictional determinations available on a single web site. The web site is now up and running and includes all JDs issued beginning in September.
Over time, the database should be very helpful both in maximizing regulatory consistency and in providing the regulated community with some idea of how EPA and the Corps are likely to interpret site-specific jurisdictional issues. Property owners who are wondering whether a particular use is likely to pass muster would be well advised to make a review of the data base an automatic part of the due diligence process.