- Two-Step Process
- Executive Order
- Federal Register Notice of Intention to Review and Rescind or Revise the Clean Water Rule
- Step One - Repeal
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule (Step Two) - Revise
- Addition of Applicability Date to the 2015 Rule
The EPA and the Department of the Army (the agencies) implemented Executive Order 13778, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule,” in two steps to provide certainty to the regulated community and the public while the agencies developed the revised definition of "waters of the United States."
- Step One - Repeal – On October 22, 2019, the agencies published a final rule to repeal the 2015 Rule and recodify the regulation that was in place prior to issuance of the 2015 Rule. This final rule became effective on December 23, 2019. Read the final Step One rule.
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule (Step Two) - Revise - On January 23, 2020 the agencies finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define “waters of the United States.” The rule will become effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. Read the pre-publication version of the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
On February 28, 2017, the President signed the “Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The E.O. calls on the EPA Administrator and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to review the final 2015 Rule and “publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule….” The E.O. directs that the EPA and the Department of Army “shall consider interpreting the term ‘navigable waters’” in a manner “consistent with Justice Scalia’s opinion” in Rapanos v. United States (2006).
In accordance with the Presidential directive in Executive Order 13778, on March 6, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army announced their intention to review and rescind or revise the 2015 Clean Water Rule.