EPA and Army Announce Intent to Revise Definition of WOTUS
EPA and Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) to better protect our nation's vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. As described in an EPA declaration requesting remand of the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a broad array of stakeholders--including states, Tribes, local governments, scientists, and non-governmental organizations--are seeing destructive impacts to critical water bodies under the 2020 rule.
As a result of these findings, today, the Department of Justice is filing a motion requesting remand of the rule. Today's action reflects the agencies' intent to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation, and anticipates developing a new rule that defines WOTUS and is informed by a robust engagement process as well as the experience of implementing the pre-2015 rule, the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, and the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule.