Thursday, September 12, 2019
On Thursday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James announced the repeal of the 2015 rule defining the Waters of the United States (WOTUS Rule).
The news is the first of a two-step process to repeal and replace the 2015 WOTUS Rule. With this repeal, the 2008 definition of what constitutes a water of the U.S. will be in place until a new rule is promulgated.
The North Dakota Water Users and Water Resource Districts have worked closely with the National Water Resources Association and North Dakota’a congressional delegation to repeal the 2015 rule. The NWRA’s 2018 comments recommending the repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule can be found here.
The Trump Administration hopes to fully replace the 2015 rule by the end of 2019.
This effort is important as North Dakota clearly has primacy over the waters of the state and the 2015 Rule was a federal overreach that would have a negative impact on management and use of water in the state.
North Dakota Water will work with our national contacts to hopefully ensure the EPA and Corps of Engineers use definitions of Waters of the United States that works for North Dakota water users including communities, industry and agriculture.