USEPA Launches New WOTUS Website
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) launched a new website to provide information about the USEPA’s review of the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS). The WOTUS Rule was a controversial part of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The website replaces the site originally developed for the 2015 rulemaking process.
“The President has directed us to review this regulation to address the concerns from farmers and local communities that it creates unnecessary burdens and inhibits economic growth. This website aims to provide the public with information about our actions to meet the President’s directive,” says Scott Pruitt, USEPA Administrator, referring to the Presidential Executive Order issued on February 28, 2017.
“The Executive Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. It also directs the agencies to review the existing Clean Water Rule (promulgated in 2015) for consistency with these priorities and to publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule, as appropriate and consistent with the law. Further, the Order directs the agencies to consider interpreting the term 'navigable waters,' as defined in the Clean Water Act at 33 U.S.C. 1362(7), in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006). ‘Waters of the United States’ are those waters that are protected under the Clean Water Act,” says USEPA in a news release.