On January 18, 2023, the long-awaited final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS)’” rule was published in the Federal Register. It is set to go into effect March 20, 2023. The definition of WOTUS is the key to determining the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This final rule repeals […]
The first case on the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) 2022 fall docket was Sackett v. EPA, which asked the Court to consider scaling back the EPA’s authority to regulate some types of wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA). One of the main issues in the case is to determine which test courts should use […]
The old adage that you can’t please everyone definitely applies to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). According to the fall Unified Agenda, a new WOTUS definition was proposed to be released by the Biden administration in February 2022. However, there is a mountain of comments to sort through, as the EPA […]
The EPA and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) posted proposed updates to the definition of waters of the United States (WOTUS) in the Federal Register on December 7, 2021. The proposed rule would define WOTUS as: Traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial seas and their adjacent wetlands; Most impoundments […]
On August 5, 2021, the EPA and the U.S. Department of the Army announced upcoming community engagement opportunities for public input into their efforts to revise the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definition. Redefining WOTUS is a two-part process for the agencies. The first rulemaking will restore the WOTUS definition to the version in […]
New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment,” but it is also a state without a lot of bodies of water. When the Trump administration changed the “navigable waters” definition to include only waters that flowed year-round, both New Mexico and Arizona were particularly hard hit, as the majority of their waterways don’t have […]
In November, the EPA asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado to restore its definition of waters that are protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA) after it was struck down by a federal judge at the request of the state of Colorado.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Navigable Waters Rule (NWR), issued by the Corps and the EPA, will effectively remove 51% of the Corps’s mapped wetlands from federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Much of that eliminated inventory was subject to federal protection under the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Water […]
Concerns about instructions in a draft memorandum from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler about which proposed documents the Agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) reviews were raised in a letter Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-D) sent to Wheeler. According to Johnson, the draft memo directed that the chair of the SAB, “in consultation with EPA,” would determine […]
Tributary is a key term in the EPA/Army Corps of Engineers’ recent Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, just as it was in the 2015 WOTUS rule the newer rule replaced.