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July 3, 2017

Trump Administration Continues Effort To Roll Back EPA Waters Rule

This past week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposal to rescind the agency’s controversial Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule. The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) has long-opposed this regulation, which, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted, would have expanded the definition of federally-regulated waters so broadly that ditches, canals, and collection ponds would have been subject to EPA oversight.

EPA Administrator Pruitt said, “We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses. This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine ‘waters of the U.S.’ and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public.”

Pruitt’s proposal opens a 30-day comment period that will explore how the Trump administration should go about rewriting the rule.

Last year, a federal court temporarily stayed implementation of the WOTUS regulation. In February, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring that the EPA submit a new version of this rule.