The Trump administration acted Friday to try to bolster its case to repeal the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution regulation.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, which administer the Clean Water Act together, first proposed in July 2017 to repeal former President Obama’s Clean Water Rule.
Those agencies put out a “supplemental” notice Friday in which they double down on their previous assertions that the 2015 regulation created significant “uncertainty” and is incompatible with the law and Supreme Court precedent.
The Friday notice also seeks to clarify that the EPA and Army Corps are proposing to repeal the rule in its entirety, despite a separate action they later took to delay the implementation date of the rule.
The rule at issue, also dubbed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) was written by the Obama administration to clarify that the federal government has the power to protect small waterways like ponds and wetlands from pollution. Opponents, like EPA head Scott Pruitt, argue that it gives the government power over too much land.
“By issuing today’s supplemental proposal, we are responding to public feedback, expanding opportunities for comment, and providing clarity and transparency in the rulemaking process,” Pruitt said in a statement.
“We are making it clear that we are proposing to permanently and completely repeal the 2015 WOTUS rule and keep the pre-2015 regulatory framework in place as we work on a new, improved WOTUS definition.”