Vol. 26, No. 8  ●  November 8, 2018

WOTUS Definition in Limbo –
EPA Delays Return to Pre-2015 Definition

The EPA is now projecting a March 2019 timeframe for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule that recodifies the definition of WOTUS that was in place prior to 2015 – rather than the originally proposed 2018 date.  This delay follows an August 16 ruling by the South Carolina District Court that the Trump Administration’s suspension of the 2015 Rule in February did not follow due process.  With this new timeframe, the 2015 Rule will stay in place in 26 states including both Maryland and Virginia into early 2019 – but has no effect in 24 other states, including North Carolina, due to prior court rulings.

The agency is also working in parallel on a process to replace the 2015 Rule (RIN:2040-AF75), which involves a substantial reevaluation and revision of the regulations. 

Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. is monitoring the continuing saga of the WOTUS definition, and will keep you updated on any changes that may affect your projects.  If you have questions about the 2015 Rule or the changing WOTUS definition, please contact Ben Rosner, Christie Blevins, or Mark Headly in Virginia, or Mike Klebasko in Maryland.

You can read about the history of WOTUS changes in our previous Field Notes articles:

- Federal Ruling Creates Delay in Corps of Engineers Process, August 23, 2018

- 6th Circuit Court Vacates WOTUS Rule Stay, April 11, 2018
(Reprinted with permission from the National Association of Home Builders. This article originally appeared in the February 28, 2018 edition of NAHB Now.)

- WOTUS 2020 - EPA and Department of the Army Delay Clean Water Rule of 2015, February 23, 2018

- A Graphic Description of WOTUS - Wetlandia, July 9, 2015

- EPA and COE Redefine Which Wetlands and Streams are Federally Regulated, June 2, 2015

Check out past issues in the Field Notes Archive.

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