Industry and Congress Push Back on WOTUS Rule

CHARLESTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on May 27 that, while incorporating important exclusions, contains potentially broad definitions that will expand jurisdiction, increasing permitting costs and delays. It also fails to provide the certainty promised by the administration, according to the National Mining Association (NMA).
In Congress, both the House and Senate are pushing back against the expanded WOTUS rule. A rider included in the House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill would prohibit the EPA from changing the definition of “navigable waters” and bar funding for the implementation of the WOTUS rule.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing May 19 on S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, introduced April 30 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming). S. 1140 passed the EPW Committee June 10, and awaits action on the Senate floor.

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