New WOTUS Rule Released
On Tuesday, December 11, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new Clean Water rule to replace the Obama Administration's 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule. The proposed rule is more narrow in scope, as the 2015 Rule vastly expanded EPA's control over water by broadening what is and is not considered "navigable water" under the Clean Water Act, including ephemeral streams. Once finalized, the rule is expected to be challenged in Court. Updates will be included in SLMA's monthly Regulatory Update. The Waters Advocacy Coalition, of which SLMA is a member, issued the following press release:
Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) Statement on the Proposed New Water Rule
December 11, 2018/in NEWS/by Scott Graves
CONTACT: Amos Snead, Snead@S3PublicAffairs.com
Washington, DC - Today, the Waters Advocacy Coalition released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army announced the proposed water rule:
"Today's release of a new water rule is an encouraging next step in the decades-long push for a WOTUS definition that empowers communities to protect their own water resources while providing regulatory clarity for our nation's farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and landowners," said coalition spokesperson Amos Snead. "While the courts stepped in and almost immediately halted implementation of the illegal 2015 WOTUS rule, the specter of such an onerous, overreaching federal regulation was weighed heavily on states, local governments, and the regulated community across the country.
"In fact, a majority of states across the country spoke out against the old WOTUS rule, saying it would have buried them in paperwork, strained state budgets and ultimately not made any improvements to efforts to maintain water quality. In contrast, today's proposal takes a more balanced approach to protecting out nation's waterways by promoting states' ability to protect their water resources, laying out clear federal guidelines for surface water protection, and providing Americans long overdue regulatory certainty.
"The Waters Advocacy Coalition appreciates the efforts of the EPA and the Army Corps to solicit feedback prior to drafting this new proposal and applauds the agencies' commitment to continued engagement with local communities and affected stakeholders to craft a workable WOTUS definition. We look forward to the implementation of a commonsense new water rule that provides for clean water and clear rules."
For more information, please visit https://watersadvocacy.org.