EPA Moves to Rescind 2015 "Waters of the U.S." Rule
July 01, 2017
"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," said Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine 'waters of the U.S.' and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public."
This proposed rule follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The February Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. To meet these objectives, the agencies intend to follow an expeditious, two-step process that will provide certainty across the country.
In a prepared statement, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said, “The WOTUS rule was one of the most controversial finalized by the Obama administration. Some 31 states, including Alaska, sued to block it. I strongly and consistently opposed the rule because it was yet another burden for Alaskans that would have lessened our economic opportunities, stranding projects and capital while leaving confusion and frustration in their place.”
Murkowski said. “During [Wednesday's] Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, I also asked Administrator Pruitt to carefully consider the impact that a new rule will have on Alaska, because two-thirds of our state is already considered wetlands. I look forward to working with EPA throughout this process to ensure there is a robust discussion with our local communities about how to reasonably protect our waters.”
"The Army, together with the Corps of Engineers, is committed to working closely with and supporting the EPA on these rulemakings. As we go through the rulemaking process, we will continue to make the implementation of the Clean Water Act Section 404 regulatory program as transparent as possible for the regulated public, " said Mr. Douglas Lamont, senior official performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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