What Does the Recent WOTUS Rule Change Mean for Your Projects?

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As NAHBNow previously reported, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) recently halted implementation of the "waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) regulatory definition as finalized under the Trump administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), reverting back to a pre-2015 WOTUS regulatory definition. The Sept. 3 announcement was an abrupt reversal because the agencies had previously committed to a series of public hearings, followed by a two-step federal rulemaking process, during which time the WOTUS regulatory definition as finalized under the NWPR was to remain in effect nationwide. To help builders and developers understand how to move forward with ongoing or planned projects, NAHB developed FAQs to provide interim (unofficial) guidance based upon the Clean Water Act (CWA) statute, existing regulatory guidance documents, and past practices by the agencies during previous instances of changing interpretations of the WOTUS regulatory definition. NAHB will continue to press the agencies for additional guidance concerning the status of the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to vacate the NWPR, timing of expected field hearings by the agencies on a new WOTUS definition, and a timeframe for when the Biden administration will propose a new WOTUS regulatory definition under the CWA. You can access the WOTUS FAQs on nahb.org. For more information, contact Mike Mittelholzer.

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