The U.S. EPA released a controversial new rule defining regulated “waters of the United States” on January 18, 2023. The Publication began the 60-day clock for critics to challenge the rule in Federal Court. The new Rule is expected to closely track the pre-publication version that was released by the PEA on December 30. Under the proposed rule, the EPA and the Corps will be directed to apply WOTUS Standards developed prior to 2015 and the controversial WOTUS definition issued by the Obama Administration. The new Rule attempts to reconcile the narrow “continuous surface connection” between “relatively permanent” waters, and the “significant nexus” standard set out by the U.S. Supreme Court. The timing of the release has already drawn criticism from congressional Republicans who note that the Supreme Court is currently set to issue an opinion in the Sackett decision which is expected to address the question of when wetlands can be considered “adjacent” for jurisdictional purposes. For more information, please contact one of the attorneys in SGR’s Environmental Practice.