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December 11, 2017

Think Tank: WOTUS Water Rule Is Costly, Breeds Uncertainty—And Won’t Reduce Pollution

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the United States regulation, which was issued in 2015. Why? A new report from the nonpartisan think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) answers that question. AEI scholar Nathan Hendricks explains:

“To protect navigable waters, the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction extends to waters linked to navigable ones. But because essentially all waters are connected, under the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, agencies will assess the degree of connectivity on a case-by-case basis. … All this confusion threatens property rights. Farmers often will not know if their land is under Clean Water Act jurisdiction, yet they can face fines of $25,000 per day of violation for certain activities. If farmers are aware that their land is under Clean Water Act jurisdiction, then they must apply for costly permits: up to $28,915. Moreover, the WOTUS rule fails to address pollution from nonpoint sources and ongoing farming activity. It does not estimate the cost and benefit trade-offs well.”

Thankfully, the EPA is currently rewriting this rule. Stay tuned to Connecting the Dots as that process moves forward.