In June 2015, EPA and the Corps of Engineers released a rule to define “waters of the United States,” affectionately referred to as WOTUS. This definition goes to the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other waters that are not obviously free flowing and navigable. An in-depth analysis of the rule can be found here.
Safe to say the rule hasn’t exactly played to rave reviews. It attracted over a million comments, mostly negative from those who think the rule represents gross government overreach, and others who believe the rule is not protective enough. The rule is also the subject of multiple challenges around the country, some filed before the rule was officially released. The lead case is now pending before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On this first anniversary of the rule, we thought a brief summary of the controversies surrounding the rule and current status might be helpful. The attached article, newly published in The Water Report, attempts to do just that. Many thanks to Diego Atencio, a third year law student at the University of Oregon and a summer associate at DWT, for his assistance in writing the article.