WOTUS Rule Definitions on the Way Out

Filed in Environment, Land Development by on June 27, 2017 5 Comments

wetalnd The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers on June 27 proposed to replace the 2015 definition of the term “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) with the text that existed since 1986.

The agencies said the action is the first in a two-step process. In Step 2, the government will propose a new definition for WOTUS.

Going back to the well-established 1986 definition allows the agencies to provide continuity and clarity to the regulated community while deliberating on a new definition.

And this time, the agencies said, the path to a new rule will be more public. “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 Douglas Lamont, acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

“NAHB applauds President Trump, the EPA and the Corps for taking the necessary actions to roll back this seriously flawed WOTUS rule that would harm housing affordability by requiring expensive and time-consuming federal permits for countless ditches, isolated ponds and dry channels,” NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald said today in a press release.

“Earlier this year, the president honored a campaign promise made to home builders as he signed an executive order directing EPA and the Corps to begin the process of dismantling the controversial WOTUS rule. This is an important step forward to rework the flawed regulation that blatantly usurped state and local authority,” MacDonald said.

“NAHB looks forward to working with the administration, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and [Mr.] Lamont to develop a common-sense solution to protecting our nation’s waterways while taking into account the interests of local businesses and communities nationwide.”

For additional information, contact Owen McDonough or Tom Ward.

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  1. Frank Morse says:

    Great Progress and thank you to NAHB and to all that have participated in the meetings with the EPA and ACE to develop a retraction of this overreaching rule! Time to get back in the real world!

  2. Chris Larsen says:

    Thank you NAHB, for your efforts in helping to roll back this rediculous rule that has cost so much to so many.

  3. Jeff Grantham says:

    As a member of the NAHBR Legislative and Regulatory Affairs subcommittee I’ve been watching this rule and dreading its overreach. In rural northern Michigan, flood plain mapping is still not complete and without uniform mapping local jurisdictions are putting the onus on the landowners to show the proposed home site is 12″ above high water mark. This costs from $800 to thousands depending on the lot and size of the house but as impactful is the delay to the project waiting for documentation to provide to the zoning administrator in order to get the permit.

  4. Barbara Byrd says:

    Thank you NAHB for staying on this issue. WOTUS has been a huge problem for a very long time and the Nebraska State Home Builders Association applauds all of your efforts. We are also grateful to Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska for joining with us and helping to keep this issue in the forefront. We are hopeful that in stepping back, the end result will be a rule that makes sense. Thank you again.

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