On Jan. 18, The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) joined a coalition representing aggregates producers, farmers, home builders and others representing a broad swath of the U.S. economy to file a complaint in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division, over the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
Following decades of regulatory actions and lawsuits concerning the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, on Dec. 30, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced the final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule. The Final WOTUS Rule came more than a year after the Biden Administration committed to re-establish the definition of WOTUS, with the goal of creating a “durable” definition that takes into account “Supreme Court decisions, the science,and the [A]gencies’ technical expertise.”
NSSGA’s President and CEO Michael Johnson said, “The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no reason to finalize this new rule when the Supreme Court is deliberating the concept of significant nexus underpinning the rule and due to release a decision within a few months. Having a new rule that is likely to only be in effect for a short time – the fifth in a decade – will have a chilling effect on the aggregate industry’s ability to provide materials needed for vital infrastructure projects. The new rule is vague, reaches too broadly and will slow down or halt projects; increasing costs and impacting jobs all without improving water quality.”