ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule to expand and redefine regulated waters of the United States (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
NACS says that the proposed rule would be an additional layer of regulatory complexity and cost to the convenience and fuel retailing industry.
“The Proposed Rule’s revised definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ is both overbroad and ambiguous. If finalized, the Proposal will exacerbate jurisdictional uncertainty. Under the Proposal, questions will repeatedly arise as to which waterways in the U.S. are subject to CWA jurisdiction and this will require expensive analysis to make those determinations,” wrote NACS.
In addition, the proposed rule would bring uncertainty to the Clean Water Act requirements, and hinder investment efforts to expand, build and enhance fuel retailing sites due to increased permitting requirements.
“Under the Proposed Rule, there will be an additional layer of regulatory complexity and cost associated with every investment and expansion decision that retailers make. These will hinder economic activity as well as work against EPA’s and the Administration’s goals. These goals include retailers installing new infrastructure to charge and serve electric vehicle drivers as well as investing in new equipment to facilitate the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard program (“RFS”). If finalized as proposed, retailers would be less inclined to undertake these investments,” wrote NACS.
Earlier this week, the Biden Administration closed its public comment period regarding its effort to redefine the regulated waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. Both the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have jurisdiction over these regulations.
WOTUS requirements have been on a regulatory roller coaster for the last several years. The Obama Administration expanded the definition and scope of WOTUS. The Trump Administration then overturned that effort. In addition, the Supreme Court recently decided to take up a case that could determine limits to the Clean Water Act and how WOTUS is defined as reported last month in NACS Daily.