In this file:

 

·         EPA and Army to Update WOTUS Definition

… “AFBF is disappointed EPA is returning to an overly complicated interim water rule,” says American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall... threatens to unfairly regulate large areas of private land miles from the nearest navigable water...

 

·         Biden administration acts to restore waters of the United States clean-water safeguards

... reinstates a rule in place before 2015... The Trump-era rule was sought by builders, oil and gas developers, farmers and others who complained about the federal overreach of Obama administration restrictions that they said stretched into gullies, creeks and ravines on farmland and other private property. They have frequently argued that broad federal protections for waterways make it difficult to do their work...

 

 

EPA and Army to Update WOTUS Definition

 

By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Ag Today (IN)

Nov 18, 2021

 

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army announced a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of the “Waters of the United States.” The agencies plan to update the rule that’s been in place for decades to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions.

 

The action will advance the agencies’ goal of establishing a WOTUS definition that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities. At the same time, the new rule would support economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries that depend on clean water. EPA Administrator Michael Regan says the only constant with WOTUS in recent years has been change.

 

“That’s created a whiplash in how to best protect our waters in communities across America,” Regan says.

 

Jaime Pinkham, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, says the new rule will be “mindful of implementation practices and will get shaped by the lived experience of local communities and stakeholders.”

 

“AFBF is disappointed EPA is returning to an overly complicated interim water rule,” says American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Overreaching regulations create major permit backlogs for the federal government and result in long delays for farmers and ranchers who are working to keep America fed. We are particularly concerned EPA is bringing back the significant nexus test. This case-by-case test threatens to unfairly regulate large areas of private land miles from the nearest navigable water...

 

more

https://hoosieragtoday.com/epa-and-army-to-update-wotus-definition/

 

 

Biden administration acts to restore waters of the United States clean-water safeguards

 

By Suman Naishadham and Matthew Daly, Associated Press

via Des Moines Register (IA) - Nov 19, 2021

 

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is taking action to restore federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, undoing a Trump-era rule that was considered one of that administration’s hallmark environmental rollbacks.

 

At issue is a regulation sometimes referred to as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, that defines the types of waterways qualifying for federal protection under the Clean Water Act. The regulation has long been a point of contention among environmental groups, farmers, homebuilders, lawmakers and the courts.

 

Thursday's announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army, which is involved in regulation of waterways through the Army Corps of Engineers, reinstates a rule in place before 2015. The Biden administration is expected next year to enact its own rule.

 

The administration had said in June that it planned to repeal the Trump-era water rule and issue new regulations defining which waterways are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. In August, a federal judge in Arizona threw out the Trump water rule and restored a 1986 standard. It was broader in scope than the Trump rule but narrower than the one the Obama administration established, which brought federal protections to nearly 60% of the nation’s waterways.

 

The Trump-era rule was sought by builders, oil and gas developers, farmers and others who complained about the federal overreach of Obama administration restrictions that they said stretched into gullies, creeks and ravines on farmland and other private property. They have frequently argued that broad federal protections for waterways make it difficult to do their work...

 

more

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2021/11/19/wotus-rule-restored-clean-water-act-biden-administration-trump-epa/8681239002/