July 27, 2017 - The rule to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule (CWR) was filed on July 27 in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposed rule to repeal are due by August 28. The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers first announced their intent to repeal and replace WOTUS CWR on June 27, 2017, to implement President Trump's February Executive Order. The EPA proposed to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule in two steps, initially reverting to pre-2015 regulations, then replacing the existing and long-standing federal Clean Water Act regulation with a new Rule that would be consistent with Justice Scalia's minority opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. United States case, which was a 4-1-4 decision. The new EPA Economic Analysis pertaining to the Clean Water Rule is available here. Read more.
SWS and its Consortium of Aquatic Science Society (CASS) partners (American Fisheries Society, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, North American Lake Management Society, Phycological Society of America, and Society for Freshwater Science) released a statement on July 27, opposing the repeal and replacement of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Read the statement from CASS. SWS will also prepare comments on the proposed rule changes for submittal during the short 30-day comment period that follows publication of the proposed rule changes in the Federal Register; the public comment period will be open until August 28, 2017. SWS encourages members to send individual letters of comment during the 30-day comment period. Responses are required for each comment submitted.