Two Year Delay Issued for “Waters of the United States” Applicability Date
On January 31, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (Army) finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Clean Water Rule (the 2015 Rule). This rule provides clarity and certainty about which definition of “waters of the United States” is applicable nationwide in response to judicial actions that could result in confusion. The new applicability date will be two years after the January 31st, 2018 action is published in the Federal Register, during which time both agencies will continue the process of reconsidering the 2015 Rule.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to delay implementation of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule for two additional years:
“Today’s action from EPA and the Army Corps ensures the 2015 WOTUS Rule never comes back. We thank Administrator Pruitt and his team for this prompt action which protects agricultural producers across the country and we look forward to the next steps – repeal and replace.”
A pre-publication version of the rule is on the EPA website at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus- rule/final-rule-definition- waters-united-states-addition- applicability-date-2015-clean- water