Trump begins WOTUS rollback with executive order

Directs EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and then rescind or revise the 2015 Clean Water Rule definition.

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WASHINGTON, DC, MARCH 1, 2017 -- President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order at the White House Tuesday, directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and then rescind or revise the 2015 Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

The rule designates what smaller bodies of water, tributaries and wetlands are under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The President's order instructs both departments to formally reconsider the Water of the United States rule or WOTUS.

"The EPA so-called Waters of the United States rule is one of the worst examples of federal regulation, and it has truly run amok, and is one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land," Trump told NBC news. "It's prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they're supposed to be doing. It has been a disaster. With today's executive order I'm directing the EPA to take action paving the way for the elimination of this very destructive and horrible rule," Trump said.

The rule was signed by President Obama in May of 2015, and went into effect in late August of 2015.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued the following statement after the executive order was signed: “EPA intends to immediately implement the Executive Order and submit a Notice to the Office of the Federal Register announcing our intent to review the 2015 Rule, and then to propose a new rule that will rescind or revise that rule. The President’s action today preserves a federal role in protecting water, but it also restores the states’ important role in the regulation of water.”

View the Executive Order and the Federal Register Notice here:

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