EPA Finalizes WOTUS Definition

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a final rule establishing the definition of “Waters of the United States.”

EPA says the rule reduces uncertainty from consistently changing regulatory definitions, protects people’s health, and supports economic opportunity.

The final rule also according to the EPA, restores essential water protections that were in place before 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, and the upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters.

“Following extensive stakeholder engagement, EPA is delivering a durable definition of WOTUS that safeguards our nation’s waters, strengthens economic opportunity, and protects people’s health,” says EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “It also provides greater certainty for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”

But the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart says “While the new rule retains longstanding exclusions for certain agricultural features, it still creates new uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”