On August 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) rule expanding federal jurisdiction over navigable waters, known as ‘waters of the U.S.,’ (WOTUS) went into effect. The new rule would expand federal jurisdiction to all types of land features and waters, including puddles, ponds, ditches, and ephemerals (land that looks like a small stream during heavy rain but isn’t wet most of the time), giving the agencies the power to dictate land-use decisions and construction practices in or near them.
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit enacted a nationwide stay on the ruling, which highlighted a number of troubling aspects of the new regulation. But that is not the final action on this regulation.
Next week, Congress is considering NECA-supported legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140), that would address the significant shortcomings of the process, which resulted in the WOTUS rule by requiring EPA and USACE to redo the rulemaking without skipping steps in the process and consideration that should have occurred. Write your Senators today and tell them to vote for the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140).