Last Update :9/10/2018

WOTUS Update - Still a Risk to Golf

Golf course owners and operators,

As you know since the release of the "Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule" under the Clean Water Act of 2015, NGCOA has been working with other associations through "We Are Golf" to encourage Congress and the Administration to cease implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's new WOTUS Rule. In 2017 President Trump directed EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to rescind the rule and issue new guidance that  ensures that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the Constitution. This followed a decision by the United States Supreme Court on January 24th to reverse the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, which argued it had jurisdiction over challenges to the 2015 WOTUS Rule and they subsequently issued a nationwide stay of the rule.

On August 16, 2018, the District Court for the District of South Carolina enjoined the Sixth District Court decision and held that all states not included in the North Dakota and Georgia districts must comply with WOTUS Rule of 2015.

Here is a report issued from the Waters Advocacy Coalition that provides additional details on this matter and what we might expect going forward.

What does this mean to my golf course?

For golf courses located in states covered by this ruling, you will have to follow permitting process in accordance with the definition of "Waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act of 2015. Members who are planning course construction or major maintenance projects may require federal permitting from the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to increased permitting cost, golf courses can expect an additional 60-90 days for their project completion. Unnecessary delays may be avoided by engaging local Army Corps of Engineers office in your project planning to determine a type of permit required.

NGCOA will continue to follow the fallout from the court's decision and the subsequent lawsuits challenging this decision. We remain hopeful the Administration will issue a new Rule which satisfies the differing court rulings. Questions and comments should be referred to Ronnie Miles at

Ronnie Miles
Director of Advocacy
Daniel Island SC

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