The 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule significantly expanded the definition of "waters of the United States" and gave the federal government authority to regulate almost all bodies of water; including streams, ditches, ponds, and creeks. The WOTUS rule would have resulted in the most egregious occurrence of federal overreach in our nation’s history.
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), finalized by the Trump Administration in April 2020, revised the definition of WOTUS and reversed this overreach, bringing back a balance between federal and state jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Confusion, regulatory uncertainly, and litigation have surrounded the scope of federal authority of our nation’s navigable waterways for decades.
The Biden Administration’s recent actions and intent to reverse the NWPR jeopardizes the best interests of rural America. It is imperative that stakeholders and communities communicate the need for practical rule making. Rural communities in the West and across the country are dedicated to clean water and do not deserve to be punished by far-reaching, burdensome regulations.