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EPA Announces Plans to Revert Back to Pre-Obama WOTUS Rule, Public Input Meetings Set for August

EPA announced the Biden administration is proceeding in its effort to craft a “durable definition” of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) on Friday, and EPA wants farmers and ranchers to provide input as the agency works to create the rule.
EPA says the agency is reverting to the WOTUS rule dating back to before the Obama administration changed the definition, which caused an uproar for agricultural groups who said the rule had expanded to create too loose of a definition. The pre-Obama era rule, which EPA says had been in place for decades, will be the basis of crafting the new rule. Along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), EPA says the administration will get input from various stakeholders, including that from agriculture, and from there, it will propose revisions and changes to WOTUS.
“We are committed to crafting an enduring definition of WOTUS by listening to all sides so that we can build on an inclusive foundation,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Uncertainty over the definition of WOTUS has harmed our waters and the stakeholders and communities that rely on them. I look forward to engaging all parties as we move forward to provide the certainty that’s needed to protect our precious natural water resources.”
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