WOTUS Rule in Limbo


The Federal Clean Water Act of 1970 failed to define the term “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). During the Obama administration, a new WOTUS Rule was proposed and was the subject of considerable litigation. Over the tenure of the current Administration the Navigable Waters Protection Rule replaced the 2015 version of WOTUS clearly defining waters subject to Federal jurisdiction.  These included territorial seas, tributaries of rivers, lakes and ponds and wetlands adjacent to waters subject to Federal jurisdiction.


The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) justifiably excluded ground water and ephemeral water that would have created problems for the agricultural sector.  Since a flood of litigation followed publication of the 2020 Rule, there will obviously be revisions, but effected by a new Administration.


The conflict between environmentalists and those that grow our food and produce our goods will probably go on until the Mississippi evaporates.