The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. “This is a positive step forward to realizing a more achievable WOTUS rule,” stated the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
“We are pleased to see EPA take the positive step forward of withdrawing the flawed 2015 WOTUS rule,” said NSSGA Environmental Committee Chairman Mark Williams of Luck Companies. “The 2015 rule caused great confusion by controlling dry streambeds and man-made features far from flowing waters, making permitting aggregates operations more difficult, impacting vital infrastructure projects.”
The EPA issued a proposed WOTUS rule to replace this one in late 2018. NSSGA supports many of the improvements EPA made in the 2018 proposal.
“EPA’s withdrawal is a necessary step. Our focus must remain on getting the WOTUS rule right to provide necessary protections while also providing aggregates producers the regulatory certainty in which to plan and operate their businesses,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael W. Johnson. “EPA’s proposed rule, issued in December 2018, provides many improvements over the flawed 2015 rule. NSSGA members have led on this issue and will continue to work with the administration and Congress to get the rule right in the end.”
The repeal of a 2015 proposed rule will help restore clarity to federal wetlands regulations and reduce delays to important transportation projects, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) said.
“The regulatory ping-pong on roadside ditches has created vast uncertainty for years with little environmental benefit,” said ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer. “Regulators should understand that delay and uncertainty only serve to increase transportation project costs. The Trump administration repeal is a common-sense approach to harmonize wetlands protection and the delivery of needed transportation improvements.”