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Ozarks Water Watch 
Volume XIV, Issue 18
 May 25, 2020




Get pumped!

Call 417-739-4100

for septic pumping

in SW Missouri! 


  Shoreline Cleanups
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A Time for
 New Friends, 
and Golf!

Cathy Stepp, Executive Director, Ozarks Water Watch   
As the nation paused over the long weekend to honor the men and women who gave all they had for our country, I hope you also took time to be thankful for what they fought so hard for: Freedom.  There has been plenty of debate over the last few months about the impacts of the coronavirus on everyday freedoms we've enjoyed. Fundamentals like freedom of speech, assembly, and religion were a few of the very tenets our armed forces fought and died for, and continue to defend today. Thank God for the men and women who gave their lives so that we could continue to enjoy these precious rights. 

Looking forward, we've got some exciting news for our partners in northwest Arkansas! Erin Scott  is joining OWW for the next chapter in her professional career and it's perfect timing for us as well! Erin will be joining our team June 15th as our 
Senior Policy and Program Director to help maintain and improve water quality in the Beaver Lake (White River) Watershed through policy initiatives, development of sound science projects, clean water advocacy and participation.
Erin has spent almost a decade in the field of water science, where she has studied water quality and land use impacts across the Beaver Lake Watershed. She earned her Master's degree in Environmental Science from the University of Arkansas in 2013, and has spent the last six and half years with the Arkansas Water Resources Center . She is now pursuing her PhD in Public Policy where she is excited to bridge scientific evidence with policy-making.
Erin has served on various boards and committees including the Ozarks Water Watch Beaver LakeSmart program, the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership, the City of Fayetteville Environmental Action Committee, and she recently joined the board of the Beaver Watershed AllianceThrough participation on these boards and committees, 
she has worked to improve environmental and water quality in Northwest Arkansas.
Erin lives in Fayetteville with her husband and two young children. She stays active riding bikes, g
oing hiking, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends. She is passionate in her quest to balance the needs of our beautiful resources with sustainable development in the area.
This is our annual fundraiser, and it's always a fantastic time of fun and fellowship!  What better way to get outside, (other than fishing, of course!), breathe the fresh air, exercise, and reconnect?
Tee times will be staggered, so we can maximize the social distancing recommendations.  Sponsorships and teams are still available.  Many thanks to our friends at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame!Can't wait to see you on the links!  Email us for more details!  
If you've followed the conversations on water law across the country, I'm sure you're aware of the patchwork and confusion over "jurisdictional waters."  From my own experiences as a state and federal regulator, the confusion experienced by agencies and landowners can't be overstated.  The USEPA and Department of the Army (Army Corps of Engineers) have been working to clarify what, according to the Clean Water Act, the jurisdiction of the federal government is. Their most recent attempt, The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which has taken over 3 years, (lots and lots of hurdles to pass rules in the federal government,) has now been published and is out for comment. 
In real world terms, the main difference between the new rule and the 2015 WOTUS Rule is that ephemeral streams-i.e. those flowing only in direct response to precipitation-and wetlands that are not adjacent to traditionally navigable waters or their tributaries are not covered under the new rule. This doesn't necessarily mean they are "unprotected" however.  In fact, it's quite likely the states would have their own regulations regarding these water bodies and wetlands. Something for us all to keep a look out for. The states challenging the new rule allege that 18 percent of all streams in the United States are ephemeral. In the West, where the land is more arid, fully 35 percent of all streams are ephemeral. The states further contend that the new rule will leave 51 percent of the country's wetlands without federal protection and reliant upon state protection.
On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) published in the Federal Register the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to establish a new definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. This rule represents the second step of a comprehensive two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Executive Order 13778, "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The Navigable Waters Protection Rule will become effective on June 22, 2020. With more than 600,000 comments (whoa!) received from the public on this proposal, it's no surprise the number of lawsuits that have been filed.  Never a dull moment, in environmental law!

Quote of the Week  
"America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels."

~ Claudia Pemberton

Contact Info
OZARKS WATER WATCH                          MISSOURI OFFICE                                 ARKANSAS OFFICE

Cathy Stepp, Executive Director                 PO Box 636, 11 Oak Drive                       1200 W. Walnut, Ste. 3405 

(417) 739-5001                                           Kimberling City, MO  65686                      Rogers, AR  72756