EPA Releases New WOTUS Rule to Mixed Reactions

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new final rule amending the 2023 definition of “Waters of the United States” on Tuesday. The final rule intends to conform with the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA, but the new wording did not meet universal approval.

“Today’s revised WOTUS definition is an important step toward bringing the EPA more in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart.

But the American Farm Bureau was less satisfied. AFB President Zippy Duvall said the EPA chose to continue government overreach and revise only a small slice of the rule that the Supreme Court rejected. “We’re pleased the vague and confusing ‘significant nexus’ test has been eliminated as the Supreme Court dictated,” said Duvall. “But EPA has ignored other clear concerns raised by the Justices, 26 states, and farmers across the country about the rule’s failure to respect private property rights and the Clean Water Act.”

With this action, the Army Corps of Engineers will resume issuing all jurisdictional determinations. The rule will take effect immediately.