President Trump’s Repeal of WOTUS Takes Effect

Jan 27, 2020

by ASME.org

President Trump again announced his attention to roll back the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule established during the Obama Administration in 2015. The rule was originally established to better define which bodies of water are governed by the Clean Water Act and fall under Federal protection. Last week President Trump stated, “I am directing the Corps of Engineers to immediately withdraw the proposed rule... and allow states to manage their water resources based on their own needs and based on what their facarmers and ranchers want.”

While the President first indicated his intentions in October, the repeal will now take effect, and what is most significant is that no court rulings have stopped it the repeal. The rule has been controversial since the outset, defining a broad scope of bodies of water across the country as subject to Federal regulation.

The repeal comes as part of the President’s efforts to reduce the amount of regulations in place across the Federal government. Ten days after Trump assumed office, the President issued an Executive Order aimed at “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The repeal of the WOTUS rule has been a key factor in his effort to repeal Obama-era environmental regulations.

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