Today, the U.S., EPA, the U.S. Department of the Army and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a proposed rule to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which was developed to protect America's smaller streams and wetlands.
This proposal would re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining WOTUS. Implementation of the Obama-era rule had been blocked due to conflicting Supreme court cases.
This proposed rule is the first in a two-step process planned by Administrator Pruitt's EPA. The agency is working on writing a new version of the rule that would include a narrower interpretation of which creeks, bogs, and marshes are protected under federal law and help redefine whether a waterway is subject to federal oversight for pollution control purposes. Trump had signed an executive order in February asking that Pruitt consider repealing the rule and replacing it with a more limited one. If finalized, this new rule is expected to be challenged in court by environmental groups and supportive states. (PoliticoPRO, 6/27/2017)
To read the full EPA press release, click here.
To read a pre-publication version of the rule, click here.