2015 WOTUS Repealed

Sep 12, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today the repeal of a 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, under the Clean Water Act. The agencies are also modifying the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule to end a regulatory patchwork that required implementing two competing Clean Water Act regulations, which has created regulatory uncertainty across the United States.

Meanwhile, EPA is developing a new rule that protects waterways while still offering a workable solution for farmers and takes into account comments by ASA and other impacted stakeholders. Following the new proposed WOTUS rule in December 2018, ASA said in a statement: “Soybean producers appreciate the significance of clean water and strive to be responsible stewards of our water, land and environment.  But it is important that any policies be in line with the intent of the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court—to protect our resources through responsible and practical rules and regulations. ASA president and soybean farmer from Clinton, Ky, Davie Stephens said, ‘We appreciate the work done by the EPA and the Army Corps to provide regulatory certainty to farmers and landowners by clearly outlining the regulated bodies of waters, defining the terms, and remaining within the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA). We are pleased that this rule is based on the standard set out by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States that the CWA should apply only to ‘navigable waters’ connected by a surface flow at least part of the year, with other waters to be regulated by the states’.”

Click here to read today’s EPA Announcement