Comment: EPA claims that stormwater ponds will not be regulated as wetlands under the New Rule. However, some federal regulators have repeatedly attempted to regulate impacts to existing, maintained stormwater ponds if the pond has developed wetland vegetation. Allegedly, federal mitigation has been required for pond basin "wetland" impacts associated with reconfiguring the footprint of an existing, maintained stormwater pond.
Recommendation: Add language to the New Rule exempting from Section 404 all pond basins and slopes in pond and stormwater facilities that are adhering to the state's and municipality's guidelines for pond management and maintenance. Abandoned stormwater ponds can be regulated as federal wetlands, as they have been for 20 years.