EPA Seeks to “Clarify” Repeal Of Obama Puddle Rule

(From The Washington Examiner)

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt issued a proposed rule on Friday to clarify the administration’s intent of repealing the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule, which is one of the pillars of Trump’s deregulation agenda.

“We are making it clear that we are proposing to permanently and completely repeal the 2015 WOTUS rule and keep the pre-2015 regulatory framework in place as we work on a new, improved WOTUS definition,” Pruitt said in a statement.

Friday’s proposal requests comment on the legal basis of the 2015 Obama-era WOTUS rule, which EPA and the Army Corps “believe has led to uncertainty and confusion across the country,” EPA said in a statement. EPA and Army Corps proposed the rule together.

The “supplemental proposal” on Friday would give more time for the public and industry to provide feedback on the administration’s plan to roll back the previous administration’s water rule.

The rule, commonly referred to as WOTUS, greatly expanded EPA’s jurisdiction over waterways by broadening the definition of navigable waters to include drainage ditches and livestock watering holes.

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