EPA Improves Navigable Waters Protection Rule
The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule ends decades of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. For the first time, EPA and the Army are recognizing the difference between federally protected wetlands and state-protected wetlands. It adheres to the statutory limits of the agencies’ authority. It also ensures that America’s water protections – among the best in the world – remain strong, while giving our states and tribes the certainty to manage their waters in ways that best protect their natural resources and local economies.
“The existing WOTUS Rule overreached to give the federal government the authority to regulate every ditch, stream, and creek in the backyards of farmers, ranchers, builders, and small business owners,” said U.S. Senator Martha McSally. “As a result, bureaucratic red tape suffocated our country’s engines of jobs. Since my first day in Congress, I’ve been fighting to roll back this burdensome rule and I applaud the Trump Administration for allowing commonsense to prevail by returning the onus of water and land rights where it belongs: the states.”
The previous WOTUS standard expanded agency control over 60% of our country’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands that were previously non-jurisdictional.
Last Congress, more than 170 bipartisan members cosponsored legislation calling for WOTUS to be repealed and another 120 bipartisan signed a letter urging repeal.
Additional information on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, including fact sheets, are available at: https://www.epa.gov/nwpr.