An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases

News Releases from HeadquartersWater (OW)

In Case You Missed It: Trump WOTUS Proposal Heralded As Common Sense Approach To Clean Water Regulation

“EPA’s announcement is another step toward Trump fulfilling a campaign promise”

Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army, proposed a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. Unlike the Obama administration's 2015 proposal, yesterday's proposed rule contains a straightforward definition that would result in significant cost savings, protect the nation’s navigable waters, help sustain economic growth, and reduce barriers to business development. This fulfills a promise President Trump made to the American people.

See more coverage from new WOTUS proposal below...


USA TODAY: “The Trump administration is moving forward with a significant rollback of an Obama-era clean water regulation that has become a rallying cry for farmers and property-rights activists opposed to federal overreach. The new proposal, unveiled Tuesday morning by acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and other administration officials, would ease Washington's oversight of small bodies of water, undoing a regulation President Donald Trump has called ‘a massive power grab.’” (USA Today, 12/10/18)

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: “[T]he new Trump rule gives additional clarity to what does and doesn't fall under Washington's enforcement authority... Tuesday’s announcement marks the second step in a two-step process initiated by President Trump nearly two years ago to rein in EPA’s authority to regulate bodies of water under the WOTUS rule.” (Washington Examiner, 12/11/18)

REUTERS: “The Environmental Protection Agency proposal would narrow the extent of... the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that President Barack Obama’s administration expanded in 2015 to cover a wide range of water bodies. President Donald Trump, who has accused Obama of over-reaching on regulations, made rolling back WOTUS one of his top policy priorities.” (Reuters, 12/11/18)

CNN: “EPA's announcement is another step toward Trump fulfilling a campaign promise... ‘I will eliminate all needless and job killing regulations now on the books, and there are plenty of them,’ Trump said. ‘This includes eliminating some of our most intrusive regulations like the Waters of the US Rule.’” (CNN, 12/11/18)


THE PROGRESSIVE FARMER: “EPA on Tuesday released a newly proposed waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule that would erase many of the concerns farmers and ranchers had about the 2015 rule.” (The Progressive Farmer, 12/11/18)

OHIOS COUNTRY JOURNAL: “Agriculture Applauds Newly Proposed Clean Water Rule... State Farm Bureau presidents from across the nation attended an event at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington to witness the signing of the newly proposed Clean Water Rule.” (Ohio's Country Journal, 12/11/18)

OMAHA WORLD HERALD: “[M]any other farmers breathed easier this week after the Trump administration moved to officially roll back protections for waterways and wetlands across the country. It’s a push that makes good on President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to loosen landmark Obama-era water rules.” (Omaha World-Herald, 12/12/18)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “[T]he rule will give states needed flexibility in managing their streams and wetlands and provides greater certainty to Americans about when permits are needed, while reining in what he described as the overreach of the Obama administration.” (Wall Street Journal, 12/11/18)


WASHINGTON TIMES: “EPA seeks to douse Obama-era Waters of the United States rule... In the Trump administration’s latest strike on federal regulations, the EPA proposed redefining ‘waters of the United States’ in a way that would draw a clear line between navigable waterways under federal versus state control.” (Washington Times, 12/11/18)

NPR: “[T]he EPA under President Obama went too far in regulating isolated waters and wetlands far upstream from navigable lakes and rivers... the simpler approach would allow farmers, for example, to decide which water on their property is subject to federal regulation without paying thousands of dollars for consultants and engineers.” (NPR, 12/11/18) 

THE DAILY CALLER: “The Trump administration proposed curbing the power of the Clean Water Act Tuesday by rolling back the open-ended application of the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, or WOTUS... The new proposal prohibits WOTUS from extending federal power over rivers that only flow after rainfall.” (The Daily Caller, 12/11/18)

AMERICAN AGRICULTURIST: “[T]he proposed rule contains a straightforward definition that will result in significant cost savings, protect the nation’s navigable waters, help sustain economic growth and reduce barriers to business development.” (American Agriculturist, 12/11/18)

BLOOMBERG ENVIRONMENT: “[T]he new rule is based on the principle that landowners should ‘be able to tell for themselves whether they have a federal waterway or not without hiring outside consultants.’” (Bloomberg Environment, 12/11/18)