Foley & Lardner LLP
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced a proposal to strike the 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulation, which had expanded the number of U.S. waterways subject to federal review for pollution control purposes.
Before the 2015 WOTUS regulation, the 1972 Clean Water Act applied primarily to “navigable” bodies of water. With the 2015 WOTUS rulemaking, the Obama administration expanded the permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act to ditches, streams, and many additional non-navigable waters, outside the original scope of the Clean Water Act.
A formal notice and comment rulemaking is required for the administration to revise the definition of waters of the United States.