WOTUS Step One - Repeal
The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies continue to review the order and consider next steps. This includes working expeditiously to move forward with the rulemakings announced on June 9, 2021, in order to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The agencies remain committed to crafting a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is informed by diverse perspectives and based on an inclusive foundation.
On October 22, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) published a final rule to repeal the 2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States” and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule. This final rule became effective on December 23, 2019, but was replaced by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. On June 22, 2020 the Navigable Waters Protection Rule became effective.
- Read the Final Rule Repealing the 2015 Rule
- Read the Economic Analysis for the Final Step One Rule
- Read the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
- Access all materials in the Docket
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) sought comment on the initial proposed Step One rule. The public comment period closed on September 27, 2017, following a 30-day extension of the comment period.
The Agencies sought additional comment on the proposed repeal of the 2015 Rule through a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking. The public comment period for the supplemental notice closed on August 13, 2018.
Comments on the Step One rulemaking can be found in the docket.