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September 16, 2019

U.S. EPA Repeals Obama-Era Water Rule

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced last week that the Trump administration has rolled back the agency’s 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation, issued under the previous presidential administration.

The action puts back in place the rules that were in effect prior to 2015. The EPA will introduce its own WOTUS rule later this year. (Stay tuned to Connecting the Dots for coverage.)

In an interview with The Washington Post, EPA Administrator Wheeler said the agency wants to make sure “we have a definition that once and for all will be the law of the land in all 50 states,” which under the Obama administration included federal government authority over lakes, streams, wetlands, stormwater controls and ditches that feed into larger waterways.

The Metals Service Center Institute, along with other trade associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, opposed the 2015 rule. These business groups have argued the rule was both too broad and too vague, in some cases applying even to dry land, and therefor placed an undue burden on manufacturers and other companies.

Click here to read more about MSCI’s stance on this issue, and on other EPA rules.