President Trump Signs Executive Order to Kill WOTUS
President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on February 28, which directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to review and then rescind or revise the 2015 Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Rule.
“EPA intends to immediately implement the Executive Order and submit a Notice to the Office of the Federal Register announcing our intent to review the 2015 Rule, and then to propose a new rule that will rescind or revise that rule. The President’s action today preserves a federal role in protecting water, but it also restores the states’ important role in the regulation of water,” said Scott Pruitt, USEPA Administrator, in a statement.
Critics of the Clean Water Rule say it is contrary to the Congressional intent of the CWA, and it infringes on the ability of the States to regulate their own natural resources. USEPA has repeatedly said the Clean Water Rule only applies to the types of waters that have historically been covered under the CWA, which does not include most ditches, groundwater, shallow subsurface flows, or tile drains.
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven worked to defund the rule in 2016 and 2017, and the WOTUS Rule was put on hold by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. “The Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule was a regulatory overreach that would have placed unnecessary burdens on farmers, ranchers and other small businesses in North Dakota and across the nation,” said Sen. Hoeven. “The President’s Executive Order starts the removal of the Obama rule and ensures that we support economic growth, provide regulatory certainty and respect States’ rights.”
Click here to view the Federal Register Notice.