Waters of the US

On December 11, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) signed the proposed “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule. The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” Interpreting the potential impacts of a revised definition is no easy task, especially given the diversity of aquatic systems and landscapes across the nation, the tremendous diversity of state wetland and water resource programs, the incongruous Supreme Court decisions of the past, and the multiple legal challenges that could potentially continue far into the future.