The process of undoing the Waters of the United States came closer to completion following the EPA’s announcement that it was sending the White House a scaled back version.
The Waters of the Untied States (WOTUS), one of former President Barack Obama’s signature environmental achievements, was immediately met with controversy when it was enacted in 2015. Critics cited ambiguity in the rule that opened the door for federal government overreach, among other issues. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt — the attorney general of Oklahoma at the time — led a multi-state lawsuit against the sweeping water rule.
The fate of WOTUS was quickly considered for reform with the entrance of the Trump administration. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in February 2017 calling for review of the regulation. Pruitt announced he was working on repeal in June of that same year.
As a birthday gift to President Trump, Pruitt announced Thursday he was sending the White House a “more reasonable” WOTUS rule.