March 18, 2019

March 15, 2019

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The EPA and Army Propose to Delay WOTUS Rule until 2020

Last Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed delaying implementation of the rule defining the term “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) for two years. This is one of many moving pieces involving the WOTUS rule at this time, and another step by the agencies under the Trump administration towards maintaining the status quo and ensuring the 2015 rule is not implemented.

The EPA and Corps intended the WOTUS rule, promulgated in 2015, to define the federal government’s jurisdiction over water bodies under the Clean Water Act.  80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (Jun. 29, 2015). Upon promulgation, the rule was challenged by environmental groups and regulated entities alike. The litigation remains pending before the Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit. In the meantime, the WOTUS rule is subject to a nationwide stay.

According to the agencies, postponing the rule will provide regulatory certainty while the agencies finish the process of repealing and replacing the WOTUS rule, which is currently underway. See our July 27, 2017 blog post for a more detailed explanation of the repeal and replacement process. The EPA and Corps will accept comments for up to 21 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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About this Author

Amy Antoniolli, environmental attorney, Schiff Hardin, permit appeals legal counsel, environment regulations lawyer, Illinois Pollution Control law
Staff Attorney

Amy Antoniolli concentrates her practice on environmental matters, advising clients on compliance with relevant laws and regulations and representing them in permit appeals, requests for relief from regulations and in rulemakings.

Amy’s prior experience as Assistant Attorney for the Illinois Pollution Control Board and as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois House of Representatives informs her work at Schiff Hardin and regularly benefits her clients.

Having advised the Board Members of the Illinois Pollution Control Board...

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