Vol. 27, No. 8 ● September 13, 2019
2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule Repealed
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army have announced that they intend to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and return the United States to the 1986 definition of Waters of the U.S. They plan to publish a Final Rule in the Federal Register soon, and have made a pre-publication version available; the policy will be effective 60 days after publication, likely mid-November 2019. The Trump Administration’s February 2018 repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule was suspended in 26 states last August, including Virginia and Maryland. This Final Rule publication will have implications for those 26 states; the other 24 – where the repeal has been in place since February 2018 – will see no changes. A reversion of the definition from the 2015 Rule to the 1986 definition has little impact in Virginia or Maryland, however the implications are significant for some other parts of the United States.