PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There will be a clear way to know if the waters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are regulated by the state or the federal government.

A new rule is being introduced to define and clarify bodies of water that are federally regulated and those that are managed by the states.

It’s called the Navigable Waters Protection rule.

Environmental Protection Agency officials and national leaders say there was confusion in a portion of the Clean Water Act.

Part of that act was repealed last year.

This new rule serves to help farmers, landowners and businesses manage their land, by knowing if water on their land falls under federal regulations.

“In essence, I think it will give the local citizens more clarity and more predictability, and some instances they will be less regulated in the past, than they were by the federal government.

“We have wonderful watersheds and waterways and if they are navigable, nothing really changes. The Clean Water Act is still a great tool that will be utilized. The federal government is going to be involved; and obviously, Pennsylvania helps with the programs that it does to keep those clean, to keep that water clean,” state Rep. Glenn G.T. Thompson said.

The rule also lists which waters are not subject to federal control, like ponds created from rainfall, farm and roadside ditches and farm and stock watering ponds.

The rule should go into effect in March.

Lisa Washington