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February 1st
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EPA Delays WOTUS Rule by Two Years

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EPA Delays WOTUS Rule by Two Years

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Wednesday it is delaying implementation of the 2015 “Waters of the US” (WOTUS) rule by two years as it works to rescind the regulation.

“The 2015 WOTUS rule developed by the Obama administration will not be applicable for the next two years, while we work through the process of providing long-term regulatory certainty across all 50 states about what waters are subject to federal regulation,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a press release.

WOTUS expanded the definition of the types of waterways that fell under federal jurisdiction. Farmers and livestock operations complained that it made them responsible for fertilizer or manure runoff into streams that they could not possibly control.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that states, organizations and property owners could proceed with their lawsuits that argue the process to finalize the WOTUS rule was flawed. The decision also ended a stay that was keeping the rule from going into effect.

EPA said its action “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.”

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