EPA and Army Corps to rescind 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule
June 28, 2017
by Scott Harn, Editor/Publisher, ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers announced their intent to rescind changes to the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that were made in 2015.
With the 2015 Clean Water Rule that changed the definition of WOTUS, the EPA and Army Corps sought to expand their powers under the Obama Administration to add ephemeral streams and other bodies of water to give themselves authority over holding ponds, drainage ditches, farmlands, temporary wetlands, seasonal washes, stockraising ponds and similar bodies of water. The new definition was immediately challenged in court by 13 states. US District Court Judge Ralph Erickson blocked the rule from being implemented in August 2015 while the matter is being considered by the court.
This latest proposed rule would reinstate the regulatory language that was in place prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule.
A copy of the release is available on the EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-us-army-move-rescind-2015-waters-us
The pre-publication Federal Register Notice is available here: http://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule