The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final rule to replace the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule is now at the White House to undergo interagency review. This is the final step before the final rule is released. While the final contents of the rule will not be known until EPA releases the rule to the public, this is a positive sign that the administration is on schedule to meet to the projected January 2020 release date for the replacement rule.
The release of this rule will complete the two-step rulemaking process, the first step of which is the withdrawal of the 2015 rule. On Dec. 23, 2019, barring a legal stay, the overly-expansive 2015 rule will no longer be in effect in any part of the country.
The EPA issued a proposed WOTUS rule in December 2018 to replace the 2015 rule. NSSGA has advocated for years that ephemeral and isolated waters, pits and water treatment systems (including settling ponds) should never be federally regulated waters, and the proposed 2018 WOTUS rule reflected this common sense approach.
“NSSGA looks forward to a final WOTUS rule that provides clean water for everyone and legal clarity for NSSGA members,” said Emily Coyner, NSSGA senior environmental policy director.