A case in federal court has put pre-2015 rules for what waters qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act back into place. For now.
Last week a federal judge in Arizona ruled that the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule was too flawed to keep in place.
The case was brought to Judge Rosemary Marquez by six Indigenous tribes, complaining that the rule failed to protect certain waters that affect navigable waters.
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule narrowed the reach of the Clean Water Act, excluding 12 categories of Waters of the United States, several of which are features common on farms.
Since June, President Joe Biden’s administration has been working on a new definition. For now, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the rules are back to where they were before 2015.
The EPA also announced it will review the language as it considers a new definition. WOTUS is defined by the EPA and the Army Corps.
Iowa Republicans Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks have both sponsored legislation to either keep the NWPR in place or redefine WOTUS. Both have support from their Republican colleagues.
by Nikoel Hytrek