On Sept. 27, ABC submitted comments
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on their proposal
to rescind their 2015 final Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," also known as the WOTUS final rule, and re-codify the regulations that existed prior to the 2015 rule. ABC also filed comments as a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition
Their proposal implements President Trump’s Feb. 28 executive order
requiring EPA and the Corps to review the controversial WOTUS rule and accordingly revise or rescind it through public comment. It is the first step in a two-step rulemaking process, providing more certainty to those impacted by the rule while the agencies develop a revised definition of "waters of the United States" in a second rule for notice and comment.
Had it gone into effect, the WOTUS final rule would have dramatically expanded the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the country, triggering a substantial increase in permitting requirements and leading to project delays and cost increases for the construction industry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay
, blocking the 2015 rule from going into effect, on Oct. 9, 2015.
ABC has been a vocal opponent
of the WOTUS rule since it was first proposed in April, 2014, and submitted comments
to the EPA on this and other burdensome EPA regulations in May, 2017.