Waters of the US: Going Back in Time

November 04 2019

On October 22, 2019, EPA and the Department of the Army published a final rule to repeal the 2015 WOTUS rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOUS or WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. This action also recodifies the longstanding 1986 definition of Waters of the US—providing regulatory consistency across states.  The final rule will become effective on December 23, 2019. Read the final rule. 

 

Primarily because of patchwork legal holdings, continuing regulatory uncertainty, and lingering litigation, the Agencies are starting from scratch on redefinitions of waters of the U.S. that were initiated by a rule in 2015. All previous rulemaking on the so-called WOTUS rule is formally rescinded and is being re-examined afresh. A reversion of the 2015 Rule has little impact in Virginia. 3e will continue to monitor this process and will provide updates and details as more information becomes available. If you would like to discuss how these changes could affect your current or future projects, please contact Robert Wright in our Mechanicsville office or Jason Steele in our Blacksburg office.