WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sent its proposal for overturning the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to the Trump administration, Politico reports. The White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review the proposal that would repeal the Obama administration’s controversial water mandate.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works held a hearing on WOTUS, which would subject convenience stores near or touching protected water to special permitting and Clean Water Act requirements.
The review is the first part of a two-step process to overturn WOTUS. The proposal would repeal the Obama administration’s rule and turn back the clock to the 1986 guidelines, which have long been the government’s blueprint for decisions about which wetlands and waterways fall under the Clean Water Act’s protection.
WOTUS had only a brief time as the law of the land in 2015 before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals slapped a hold on the rule, sparking a debate about whether that court was the proper place for such a challenge to be heard. Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the matter. But that might be moot if the agency moves quickly enough to repeal and replace WOTUS.