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Dec 17

What's Next for WOTUS?

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 5:58 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 12/17/2018


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

No upcoming meetings or hearings.

Project Updates:


  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  The crew is on the north end of our northerly wetland in Section 4 of LeRay Township.  The contractor had some mechanical issues last week that put them down for a couple days, but otherwise things are progressing along smoothly.  I would expect that the new tile install should be almost complete by the end of this week, barring any unexpected issues.  Final cleanup things will be completed next spring in 2019.  
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)   Our contractor was back on-site installing new tile last week.  Things were slow going as the contractor was digging through some of the deepest cuts of the project.  Tile install should speed up this week with the nice weather and shallower cuts.  I expect that we will see the contractor out on this project as long as mother nature will allow.  The frost in the ground has been very random across the county.  I’ve heard reports from 4 inches to 18 inches to almost none at all.   
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  The contractor for this project was back late last week making needed repairs to issues with sink holes.
  • CD56 Branch 18 (Lincoln Twp.)  The contractor on this repair project is doing a great job and making incredible time for the less-than-pleasant soil conditions.  As of today, the crew should have around 500 linear feet of new pipe left to install.  Included in that 500 feet there is a road crossing on the township road, which will take a good day or two to complete.  The contractor will be also cleaning just a small portion of the open ditch and some sediment and sloughing issues from early in the year.   cd56 branch 18 

Clean Water Rule Changing?

Last year the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was asked by President Trump's administration to begin the long process of repealing the Clean Water Rule, which was part of former President Obama’s era.  The idea to repeal the Clean Water Rule was to replace it with a more direct plan from the Trump administration.  

The proposed change hopes to add some definition to what is federally-protected waterways versus state-protected waterways.  The clearer definition is envisioned to make it easier for landowners who wish to do work on their land to figure out if they will need permits and engineer plans or not.  Many landowner and agricultural groups are in favor of this EPA regulatory change, as many of them felt the previous rule was an “overstepping of power”. 

Many environmental protection groups, however, fear the proposed change could have damaging effects to currently protected federal waterways.  If the current federal rule was to change, it is estimated that 18 percent of streams and over 50 percent of wetlands could lose their federal protection status.

We all know that change doesn’t come easy or overnight with matters like these.  The proposed changes to the current Clean Water Rule will not come easy or fast.  There are multiple federal agencies that will have to agree to the change.  There will also have to be some new scientific research done to support the change before any long-term considerations are made.  This has been a hot topic for landowners and agricultural people from across the United States.  This decision can have huge impacts on farmers who depend on agriculture for much of their revenues.  For more reading on this subject, click on link.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of December 10 – December 14:

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  The contractor was making repairs to some areas where we had issues with sink holes.
  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  I stopped in twice to see how we are progressing with this repair project.  Our contractor is doing great work, and we are hoping to have things finished up possibly yet this week.        
  • CD57 (Beauford Twp.)  Our contractor has for the most part finished these new water quality intakes.  They look very nice and will do wonders for controlling erosion along two major areas of the open ditch.  Final seeding will have to wait until next spring.  Picture below shows one of the new intakes.CD57 side intakes  
  • JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  I stopped by on-site last week a couple times to see how things are coming along with the improvement.  We also met on-site to address some concerns with landowners along the project.   
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  Our large sink hole issue has been repaired.  On to the next repair.      


We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist