Industry roundup: EPA and Army propose to amend effective date of 2015 WOTUS rule

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Updated Jun 9, 2021

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) have proposed to amend the effective date of the 2015 rule defining “waters of the United States.”logo for the EPA

The agencies proposed that the 2015 rule would not go into effect until two years after actions taken on Nov. 16 were finalized and published in the Federal Register. The agencies say that this amendment would give them the needed time to reconsider the definition of “waters of the United States.”

“Today’s proposal shows our commitment to our state and tribal partners and to providing regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and businesses,” said EPA administrator Scott Pruitt in a press release. “This step will allow us to minimize confusion as we continue to receive input from across the country on how we should revise the definition of the ‘waters of the United States.’”

The EPA states that the 2015 rule redefined the scope of where the Clean Water Act applies, and had an effective date of Aug. 28, 2015. Currently, the implementation of the 2015 rule is on hold as a result of the Sixth Circuit’s nationwide stay of the rule. The EPA says that that stay may be affected by a pending Supreme Court case.

EPA also states that the 2015 rule is also stayed in 13 states due to a North Dakota district court ruling. The EPA and Army say they are taking this action to provide certainty and consistency to the regulated community.

“The Army, together with the Army Corps of Engineers, propose this rule with EPA to help continue to provide clarity and predictability to the regulated public during the rule making process,” said Ryan Fisher, acting assistant secretary of the Army (Civil Works). “We are committed to implementing the Clean Water Act Section 404 regulatory program as transparently as possible for the regulated public.”

This action follows the Feb. 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”

This February executive order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution and minimizing regulatory uncertainty.

The two-step process the agencies propose to take to reconsider the 2015 rule is separate from the agencies’ proposal, and the comment period for the Step 1 rule closed in September.

The agencies are currently working to review the comments received from the public, and they are also in the process of holding listening sessions with stakeholders as a proposed Step 2 rule is developed. This Step 2 rule would revise the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The agencies will be collecting public comment on this proposal for 21 days after publication in the Federal Register, and they say they plan to move quickly to take final action in early 2018.

For additional information on this proposal and how to comment, click here.

Target Specialty Products announces partnership with Scotts

logo for target specialty productsTarget Specialty Products announced its partnership with Scotts to develop a complete line of new professional turf products the companies say is backed by Scotts PRO technology and the latest advancements in turfgrass management.

The companies say that this agreement will allow Target Specialty Products the exclusive ability to co-brand with the Scotts PRO logo and related marks. The companies say it will also strengthen Target Specialty Products’ position in the marketplace and its product offerings to customers.

“Scotts is a leader in the lawn and turf care industries, and we’re thrilled about the opportunity to partner with them,” said Todd Ferguson, president of Target Specialty Products. “Our position as a leading national distributor, combined with the strength of the Scotts PRO branding, will allow us to launch new products supported by one of the most trusted names in lawn care, with the first of our new products coming soon.”

“With exceptional customer service and distribution, Target Specialty Products is well-positioned within the professional market to leverage the power of Scotts PRO technologies, which are backed by decades of turfgrass research,” said Trevor Whitson, general manager of Scotts PRO.

Harvesters’ Virtual Peer Group offers business reviews

The Harvesters’ Virtual Peer Group says it understands the challenges of growing a landscape business from the ground up, and continuing to profitably grow can be stressful, especially to those who don’t have someone to run ideas by.the harvest group landscape business consulting logo

The group says that talking to other business owners in companies of similar size can help provide a sounding board to make difficult decisions easier, and now they are available to help answer crucial questions such as:

  • What’s stopping me from taking my business to the next level?
  • Why do I feel so overwhelmed with the daily demands of one crisis after another?
  • Why am I making money on paper, but I don’t have any left over at the end of the month?

By bringing together groups of eight to 12 contractor related businesses from different geographic areas, the Harvesters’ Virtual Peer Group says these groups are willing to share their experiences and time with other like themselves, not compete but operate similar types of businesses and help each other in overcoming the challenges of operating, building value and profitability and growing their companies.

The peer group says it meets monthly via phone to help one another deal with business issues, as well as support each other in their daily business initiatives.

To get started contact Head Harvester Fred Haskett at fred@harvestlandscapeconsulting.com or 619-665-7854.

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