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"EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have sent a new proposal to repeal the Obama-era Clean Water Rule to the White House for review. The agencies already proposed scrapping the regulation, also known as the Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule, this past summer. Now, EPA says it is issuing a "supplemental proposal," which was submitted yesterday to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. An EPA spokeswoman said the supplemental proposal is meant to "provide the public with additional clarity on the scope of the agencies' efforts" and comes in response to the more than 600,000 comments EPA and the Army Corps received about the initial proposed repeal over the summer...It is not clear what the "supplemental proposal" will change or add to the proposed repeal. According to OIRA's website, the supplemental has the same title as the repeal proposed last summer, though the supplemental is not listed as "economically significant." The Clean Water Rule redefined which wetlands and waterways are automatically covered by the Clean Water Act. The supplemental proposed repeal comes as companies and groups have been anxiously awaiting the administration's rewrite of the definition of "waters of the United States," which officials have said they plan to model after the vision of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia said only "relatively permanent" waters with surface water connections to others should be regulated by the federal government. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said agencies will finalize a new WOTUS definition by the end of this year, but it's unclear when the administration will issue a proposed rule."

Posted April 12th, 2018