NRMCA Submits Comments Opposing Obama-Era Waters of the U.S. Rule
Earlier this week, NRMCA submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers (Corps.) opposing the EPA/Corps. Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS for short. Specifically, the WOTUS rule aims to determine what can be considered a "water of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act and thus under the jurisdiction of the federal government; NRMCA believes this amounts to a very large jurisdictional expansion. Currently, the WOTUS rule has been stayed nationwide by federal courts since last November while multiple legal challenges to the rule work their way through the court system.
NRMCA’s comments are in response to EPA and the Corps. soliciting comments on the rule, following President Trump’s February 28, 2017 Executive Order requiring both agencies to re-review the rule with an aim toward either "rescinding or revising the rule." NRMCA’s comments urged EPA and the Corps. to "quickly finalize a proposal to re-codify the definition of "Waters of the United States" as it existed prior to the finalized 2015 Clean Water Rule [WOTUS]." NRMCA also emphasized that the rule "is too broad, imprecise, and leaves too much up to agencies and third party interpretation to provide the regulated community with the certainty the agencies have sought to give them."