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Repeal and Replacement of Clean Water Rule Begins
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formally proposed withdrawal of the Obama administration's controversial water rule on Wednesday, July 26 marking the end of a year-long effort to scrap this burdensome federal overreach. The reversal will dismantle the proposal by President Barack Obama’s EPA to expand water pollution protections to waters beyond the traditional definition of navigable waters, interstate waters and territorial seas.

 

Administrator Pruitt recently completed a southeast tour to further his plan to protect the environment, which included a day with several FLA members and private forest landowner advocates. Pruitt said his focus for the EPA is that it will begin a new era of “regulatory certainty.”

“Achieving regulatory certainty simply means we’re going to act within the law,” Pruitt said. “Over the past eight years, the EPA has been unpredictable, often going beyond its statutory limits. It has acted haphazardly with respect to its rulings, which paralyzes those we serve. The last administration re-imagined the law. Under the Clean Water Act, for example, they completely redefined waters of the United States to include everything from dry creek beds to drainage ditches.”

The EPA announced the repeal and replacement in June. According to the document in the Federal Register, this will “review and revise the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ consistent with the Executive Order signed on February 28, 2017, ‘Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule.’ Section 3 of this executive order makes it clear that the definition of ‘navigable waters’ will be reviewed and likely be interpreted in a manner consistent with the original definition outlined in the U.S. Code, Title 33, Chapter 26.

 

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