Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)
Clean Water Protection Rule
Unfortunately, the Clean Water Protection Rule is currently blocked nationwide by courts—this action is only temporary.
After considering feedback from over 400 public meetings and more than 1,000,000 public comment letters, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released the Clean Water Protection Rule on May 27, 2015. By clearly spelling out what constitutes “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, the rule provides clarity, efficiency, and cleaner water by better defining which rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands the Act protects while maintaining existing agricultural exemptions. The rule provides certainty regarding who is regulated for pollution controls and who is not. It is based on a vast body of scientific literature that recognizes the vital connections between smaller streams and wetlands and downstream waters. It also presents the opportunity to tell the agencies to fully protect waters that are often wrongly written off as “isolated,” but that science shows provide important functions. Learn more about the Clean Water Protection Rule
The Clean Water Protection Rule has faced repeated challenges. Numerous states, including Missouri, filed suit against the EPA to have the rule repealed. Thirteen states, including Missouri, filed a motion for preliminary injunction that halted the rule’s implementation within those states on August 28, 2015. Although a bill proposed in the Senate that would have threatened to kill the Clean Water Protection Rule was defeated in November of 2015, opponents in the House of Representatives successfully passed legislation to undermine the rule:
H.R. 1732 – the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 passed the House of Representatives on May 12, 2015, and is now being considered in the Senate. Despite the extensive public input EPA and the Corps have considered in crafting the proposed rule, if enacted into law, H.R. 1732 would force EPA to withdraw the rule and start from scratch regarding the Clean Water Protection Rule. Polluters are often well-funded and vocal. We need to be the voice of the environment. Tell your Senator to reject this effort to thwart the implementation of the Clean Water Protection rule and support our waters!