New WOTUS Rule Becomes Law
June 23, 2020
The Trump Administration's new and scaled-back Waters of the U.S. rule became law Monday after last-minute attempts to block the rule. A federal judge late last week denied an effort to prevent implementation of the new regulation, called the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
The challengers claim the new rule removes protection from many U.S. waterways. WOTUS, now NWPR, has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, including some examined by the Supreme Court.
In the order denying the motion for temporary relief, the Judge writes, “In the prior cases, the issue was always whether the agencies had gone too far in extending the scope of federal regulation. Now, the question is whether the agencies have not gone far enough.” That judge ultimately sided with the EPA.
However, a federal judge in Colorado rejected the Section 404 permit process included in the new rule, which refers to the Corps of Engineers' authority to issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters.