INSIDE EPA: Wheeler Vows To Unveil ‘Clear’ CWA Jurisdiction Proposal Within 30 Days

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the agency within 30 days will unveil its proposal for a new “clean and straightforward” Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction standard that follows the water law and confusing Supreme Court precedent, and which is expected to be narrower in scope than the Obama-era rule it will replace.
“As we’re moving forward on waters of the U.S., we hope to have something out over the next 30 days or so for a proposal,” Wheeler said during his opening remarks to an Oct. 2 roundtable hosted by EPA’s Smart Sectors industry outreach program — an outreach effort through which the Trump administration is working with industrial sectors to assess potential burdens from EPA regulations and steps to overcome them.
Wheeler avoided saying what legal test the proposal will use for defining the water law’s reach, instead promising that “our definition will be clear and straightforward and easy for land-owners to understand.”
The Trump administration’s proposed rule on the scope of the CWA has been under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget since June 15, and had originally been slated for release in August.
EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers previously proposed to repeal the Obama-era CWA rule last year, and issued a “supplemental” document aimed at bolstering their reasons for the rollback in June. The upcoming replacement proposal would float a new, likely narrower, standard for defining waters subject to the CWA.

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