WASHINGTON — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) finalize their repeal of the Obama Administration’s infamous Clean Water Rule, otherwise known as the WOTUS rule. Heritage senior research fellow, Daren Bakst said the following:
The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers protect our nation’s waters best when they define what waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act in a manner consistent with the law itself, the U.S. Constitution, and a recognition that clear and objective definitions achieve positive environmental outcomes. The Obama Clean Water Rule — notorious for garnering widespread opposition — failed on all counts.
In an unprecedented power grab, this rule handed federal bureaucrats authority to regulate almost any water imaginable—creating unnecessary regulatory obstacles for everyone from farmers plowing their land to local governments building ditches for public safety to families building their homes. By repealing this rule, the Trump Administration has rightfully put an end to this definition of “waters of the United States” that made the EPA and Corps more similar to local zoning boards than federal regulators.
As the administration formulates its own, more appropriate definition of “waters of the United States,” it should respect the rule of law and provide much-needed clarity to ensure an ordinary person would understand what waters are regulated.