Federal Spotlight: EPA Unveils Replacement for WOTUS Rule

December 13, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new version of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on Tuesday morning. The updated WOTUS rule would narrow the scope of the EPA’s jurisdiction over certain waterways and more clearly define “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule will have a 60-day comment period and will include a listening session in Kansas City, Kan.

President Trump signed an executive order in 2017 to begin rolling back the regulation that was originally enacted under the Obama Administration in 2015. The original rule faced several court challenges since first being imposed. Opponents of the original WOTUS rule have argued the regulation is overly burdensome and impedes property rights, while advocates have stated it’s needed to protect the environment.

ABI has been active in opposing the initial rule and held stakeholder meetings with state agency officials including Gov. Reynolds, former Sec. of Ag Bill Northey, and several business and agriculture stakeholders to talk about the negative effects WOTUS would have on Iowa’s economy. We look forward to receiving feedback from members on this proposed rule. Please provide your comments to Jessica Hyland by Jan. 5, 2019.

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