EPA Makes Formal Move to Repeal Controversial WOTUS Rule
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), following the directive of President Trump’s February 28, 2017 Executive Order, moved to rescind the controversial Waters of the US rule, known as WOTUS. Specifically, "The proposed rule would recodify the identical regulatory text that was in place prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule and that is currently in place as a result of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit's stay of the 2015 rule. Therefore, this action, when final, will not change current practice with respect to how the definition applies."
As an opponent to the WOTUS rule from its inception, NRMCA welcomes the proposal and opportunity to again weigh in on this onerous regulatory burden. As background, the WOTUS rule aims to determine what can be considered a "water of the US" under the Clean Water Act, and thus under the jurisdiction of the federal government; which amounts to a very large jurisdictional expansion. Currently, the WOTUS rule has been stayed nationwide by federal courts since November while multiple legal challenges to the rule work their way through the court system. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following the publication of the proposal in the Federal Register.