After several years of legal challenges and uncertainty, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The new rule replaces the original 1986 rule and narrows the extent of federal jurisdiction by excluding isolated water bodies, “ephemeral” waters that only form in response to rain, and most ditches. The new rule becomes effective 60 days after being published in the Federal Register.
Arizona Senator Martha McSally who advocated for the rule change on behalf of the home building industry offered
"The existing WOTUS Rule overreached to give the federal government the authority to regulate every ditch, stream, and creek in the backyards of farmers, ranchers, builders, and small business owners,” said McSally. “As a result, bureaucratic red tape suffocated our country's engines of jobs. Since my first day in Congress, I’ve been fighting to roll back this burdensome rule and I applaud the Trump Administration for allowing commonsense to prevail by returning the onus of water and land rights where it belongs: the states.”
The National Association of Home Builders has been actively engaged and advocating for a new rule since 2015. The building industry appreciates the continued efforts of the Administration and support of various members of Congress for a final rule which does not unnecessarily restrict economic development.