On February 28, President Trump issued an executive order to roll back the 2015 clean water rule (commonly referred to as the “waters of the United States or WOTUS rule). The rule was enmeshed in controversy and has been challenged in multiple courts by oil and gas developers, farmers, pesticide and fertilizer makers, and golf course owners, which claimed the regulation infringes on property owners’ rights and is bad for the economy. The litigation has stayed the rule, which has never actually been implemented.
The executive order puts the legal case on hold and directs USEPA to initiate the lengthy legal process of rescinding and rewriting the rule. Prior to adoption of the rule, CASA raised issues of importance to wastewater agencies during the notice and comment period. In response to our comments, USEPA revised the rule to preserve the waste treatment exception and to clarify that groundwater remains outside the scope of jurisdiction.