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EPA Plans Rewrite of WOTUS; House Contemplates Nuclear Waste Policy

Regulatory Activity


Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated its plans to solicit comments by June 19 as to how the agency should rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule following President Trump’s February 28 executive order (EO) directing the agency to revise the contentious Obama Administration rule. Following the EO, EPA specified its plans to revise the rule through a formal notice-and-comment rulemaking process. While this is  typically a lengthy procedure, the Trump Administration has expressed its interest in replacing the rule by the end of the year.

This follows a meeting last week that was held between the EPA and a number of groups representing state and local officials, including the National Governors’ Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties and the Environmental Council of the states, where participants discussed the Trump Administration’s rewrite of rule.

Legislative Activity

This week’s Hearings

  • On Wednesday, April 26, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “A Review of the Technical, Scientific, and Legal Basis of the WOTUS Bill.” The witnesses will be announced.

  • On Wednesday, April 26, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing to examine the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. The bill would expedite the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository by authorizing the Secretary of Energy to order infrastructure operations as needed for building and operating the repository.  The witnesses will be announced.

  • On Thursday, April 27, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management has scheduled a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Mitigating Damage and Recovering Quickly from Disasters.” The witnesses will be:

    • Andrew Phelps, Director, Oregon Office of Emergency Management;

    • Chief John Sinclair, President and Chairman of the Board, International Association of Fire Chiefs;

    • Mark Berven, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nationwide Property and Casualty Operations (on behalf of the Build Strong Coalition);

    • The Honorable W. Craig Fugate, Former Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency; and

    • The Honorable R. David Paulison, Former Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • On Thursday, April 27, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing titled “Outdoor Recreation: Vast Impact of the Great Outdoors.” The witnesses will be announced.

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 114

About this Author

Sarah Vilms, Public Policy Adviser, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
Public Policy Advisor

Sarah Vilms provides legislative strategy and congressional advocacy on behalf of clients, including corporations, municipal governments and nonprofits. Her experience includes more than 20 years in environment and natural resources, education, health care, transportation, voting and sporting issues, among other areas. Ms. Vilms presents matters on behalf of clients before Congress, the White House and federal agencies. 

Mallory A. Richardson, Public Policy Specialist, Squire Patton Boggs, Law Firm
Public Policy Specialist

Mallory Richardson is a member of the firm’s Transportation, Infrastructure & Local Government and Public Policy Practices. Prior to becoming a public policy specialist, Mallory was selected through a competitive process to participate in the firm’s public policy internship program. In this position, Mallory assisted attorneys and senior policy professionals on legislative and regulatory research, hearing and event coverage, and produced reports focusing on issues including energy, transportation, education and local municipalities. In addition, she proactively...