American Railway Development Association

September 2014
Law Feature 

Muddying the Waters:

What you need to know about the proposed
Rule on "Waters of the United States"

By Pamela Nehring, Daley Mohan Groble; Chair, ARDA Law Committee

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) recently proposed a Rule intended to clarify the term "waters of the United States". This new rule could potentially impact regulation surrounding railroad development, railroad ditches and spill reporting.  


Water is an important resource that needs protection from depletion, pollution and misappropriation. The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal statute governing water quality. The CWA bases federal jurisdiction on the "waters of the United States." It is up to the EPA and the Corps to define the statutory term "waters of the United States" by promulgating regulations. Courts have defined the term broadly to include not only water sources which are navigable-in-fact (that is, it can float your boat), but also streams that serve as tributaries and other non-traditional waterways. 

After being prompted by the Supreme Court, the EPA and the Corps issued a proposed rule to clarify the term. Despite the new regulation, the interpretation continues to be controversial raising constitutional issues about state's rights and affecting a variety of stakeholders, including railroads. The EPA has taken the position that it is not expanding its jurisdiction, assuring that the proposed rule only clarifies the meaning of the "waters of the United States" and does not broaden it. The EPA nonetheless admits that its jurisdictional reach will grow by three percent, though others argue that it will expand by much more. READ MORE

Save the Dates!

2015 Executive Forum

The Changing Face of Business

January 27-28, 2015
Hotel Monteleone

New Orleans, Louisiana




2015 Annual Meeting

The Changing Face of Business

July 12-15, 2015

The Westin Denver Downtown

Denver, Colorado 


For more information, visit the ARDA website or contact: 

ARDA staff at 
The American Railway Development Association (ARDA) is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded in 1906 to promote Economic Development, Real Estate Development, Technology, and Environmental Activities of the North American Railroads. 
The objectives of the Association are to foster the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads; and through the advancement of ideas and education of its members, further promote the effectiveness of railway development and related work.
Real Estate Feature
Save the Dates!
Industry News

Thank You ARDA 2013- 2014 Sponsors

Canadian Pacific



Clear Channel Outdoor


Join Our Mailing List

ARDA Job Board 
As a new ARDA initiative, the organization will give members the opportunity to post job openings at their companies in this newsletter and on our website. 

Only jobs within the economic development, real estate development, technology, legal, and environmental segments of the railroad industry should be posted. 
ARDA will approve each listing prior to publication. 

Postings can be submitted to:

ARDA logo