Tag: WOTUS

WOTUS and Wetlands With SCOTUS Again

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 Ongoing Saga of Redefining WOTUS

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 […]

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Post Updates to WOTUS

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 […]

Next Steps for WOTUS

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 […]

Navajo Nation Sees Relief in Lawsuit Over Navigable Waters Definition

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 […]

The Navigable Waters Rule and Subsurface Flows

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 […]

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Motivation, Legality of Memo to EPA Science Advisory Board Questioned by House Leader

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 […]

Details on the New WOTUS Definition

In their just-released final rule, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (EPA/Corps) provide a definition of the Clean Water Act (CWA) term Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that, the agencies say, is based in the commerce clause of the Constitution.