The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is repealing the expanded definitions of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
In a release, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers say multiple substantive and procedural errors warrant a repeal of the 2015 rule. Saying, the EPA did not put legal limits on the scope of authority and did not recognize local state rights.
With the repeal, the agencies will implement regulations from before 2015, which are currently in place in more than half of the states.
However, a second step follows up on a proposal from last December, where the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new definition, which they claim clearly defines where federal jurisdiction begins and ends between federal and state waterways.
Agriculture groups celebrated the WOTUS repeal as a victory, Iowa groups say 97% of Iowa would have been under federal jurisdiction with the 2015 rule. The groups now ask for a fair substitute to protect water.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also praised the step, saying the 2015 rule was an extreme overreach.
Before the repeal, environmental groups submitted nearly half a million comments opposing any rollback. That included the Sierra Club, who says they intend on fighting the repeal.