WEF Submits Comments on WOTUS

On Nov. 14, WEF filed comments to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) proposed rule. Working with various Member Associations, WEF compiled a set of comments centered around key definitions important to utilities as well as recommendations on how to improve some of the exemptions important to municipalities.

The WOTUS rule seeks to clarify the definition of waters subject to the regulatory scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which was more narrowly defined in 2001 and 2006 Supreme Court rulings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the rule would subject about 3% more U.S. waters to CWA jurisdiction. The additions come from new types and categories of jurisdictional waters, such as those adjacent to jurisdictional waters, as well as “other waters,” which have not traditionally been considered navigable and do not meet other jurisdictional definitions. The final version of the rule will be released in April.

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