Burdensome and excessive federal regulations often delay or prohibit American businesses from investing in infrastructure or land development projects that will create jobs, grow crops and improve how we manage our natural resources.
Upon taking office, President Trump initiated a process to review and replace these regulatory barriers, which included the Obama Administration’s 2015 “waters of the United States” definition.
Under the 2015 definition, farmers, landowners, municipalities and businesses are spending too much time and money trying to determine whether waters on their land are “waters of the United States” and subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. In some cases, they pay consultants or lawyers tens of thousands of dollars only to discover that they need federal permits that cover isolated ponds, channels that only flow after it rains, and wetlands far removed from the navigable waters the Clean Water Act was specifically designed to regulate.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army are delivering on the president’s agenda by proposing a new definition for “waters of the United States.” The agencies’ proposal would end years of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. It would clarify the role of our states and tribal partners — those closest to and most knowledgeable about their own waters — and help them more effectively and efficiently manage their land and water resources. And it would respect the limited powers that the federal government has been given under the Constitution and the Clean Water Act to regulate navigable waters.