4 small words may hamstring Trump team's WOTUS overhaul
The Trump administration might have unwittingly cleared a path for a legal assault in its proposal for delaying the effective date of the contentious 2015 Clean Water Rule, experts in administrative law say.
At issue are four words in the proposal released last month by U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers aimed at delaying by two years the Obama rule defining which wetlands and waterways get protection under the Clean Water Act.
The administration said it intended to "provide clarity and consistency" to the rule, also known as Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule, but the proposal it sent to the Federal Register and the one that was ultimately published don't match.
The first version says the agencies want to "amend the effective date" of the rule, while the published version says they want to "add an applicability date."
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