The agencies are also aware of 333 projects that would have required Section 404 permitting prior to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, but no longer do.”
EPA said that as a result of these findings, the Department of Justice is filing a motion requesting remand of the rule. EPA and the Department of the Army will seek a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation, and “anticipates developing a new rule that defines WOTUS and is informed by a robust engagement process as well as the experience of implementing the pre-2015 rule, the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, and the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule.”
The agencies’ new regulatory effort will be guided by the following considerations:
- Protecting water resources and our communities consistent with the Clean Water Act.
- The latest science and the effects of climate change on our waters.
- Emphasizing a rule with a practical implementation approach for state and Tribal partners.
- Reflecting the experience of and input received from landowners, the agricultural community that fuels and feeds the world, states, Tribes, local governments, community organizations, environmental groups, and disadvantaged communities with environmental justice concerns.
The agencies state that they are committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement to ensure that a revised definition of WOTUS considers essential clean water protections, as well as how the use of water supports key economic sectors.
Further details of the agencies’ plans, including opportunity for public participation, will be conveyed in a forthcoming action. The NAHB said it will remain firmly engaged in this process.
To learn more about the definition of WOTUS, visit epa.gov/wotus.
Read the EPA’s WOTUS announcement here.