In response to the Presidential directive issued last month, the US EPA and the Army announced today their intention to review and rescind or revise the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule.
The challenge to the rule is based largely on the interpretation of a key phrase within the Clean Water Act (CWA): “navigable waters.” When finalized, the Waters of the United States Rule, or WOTUS Rule, expanded the scope of waters that are considered “navigable” and therefore subject to certain requirements of the CWA.
EPA’s interpretation of “navigable waters” drew from Supreme Court decisions, including Rapanos vs. United States
. The President has ordered that EPA reconsider its interpretation of what constitutes a “navigable water” using stricter criteria set forth in an opinion written by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the Rapanos
case. To read more about the interpretations and Supreme Court decisions surrounding the Waters of the US Rule, read the post POTUS Puts WOTUS on Notice from last week.
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