Dec. 1, 2017 — On Nov. 29, the House Science, Space and Technology's subcommittee on the Environment held a hearing on the rule defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS).

The 2015 rule, titled "The Future of WOTUS:  Examining the Role of States," redefined the scope of where the Clean Water Act applies, had an effective date of Aug. 28, 2015. Implementation of the 2015 rule is currently on hold as a result of the Sixth Circuit’s nationwide stay of the rule, but that stay may be affected by a pending Supreme Court case. The 2015 rule is also stayed in 13 states due to a North Dakota district court ruling.  On February 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." 

The November 29th hearing included testimony from Mr. Wesley Mehl, Deputy Commissioner, Arizona State Land Department , Mr. James K. Chilton Jr., rancher, Chilton Ranch, Mr. Ken Kopocis, adjunct associate professor, American University Washington College of Law, and Mr. Reed Hopper, senior attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation. 

You can read testimony from each as well as watch a recording of the full hearing on the subcommittee website.

To read the opening statement from Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), click here.

To read Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici’s (D-OR) opening statement, click here.

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are currently accepting comment on the proposed rule "Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Addition of Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule." Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0644, to http://www.regulations.gov by December 13, 2017.  Review additional information on this proposal and how to comment

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This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

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This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
Senior Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

Steve Dye
Legislative Director

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist