Jun 5, 2019

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Administration Wetlands, Waters Rule

Wetlands - WOTUS rule

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled on May 28, 2019, that the Obama administration erred when it crafted the Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) regulation.  The court found that the final version of WOTUS rule deviated too far from a previous draft version which deprived the public of an opportunity to submit public comment on the final rule.  The ruling makes final a preliminary injunction issued last year blocking implementation of the 2015 rule.  The injunction applies to Texas, Lousiana, and Mississippi.  It is unlikely that the procedural error noted by the District Court will… Read more

Feb 27, 2019

New Rules on Lead Drinking Water Standards Delayed

Lead Pipes and Drinking Water

The US EPA announced on February 25, that new drinking water regulations aimed at eliminating lead in water supplies have been returned to the US EPA’s staffers for revision. The announcement marks the eighth time that the EPA’s self-imposed deadline for revising the water quality standards has been delayed. Attempts to revise the standard began during the Obama administration, but it faced the major obstacle of how to require utilities to replace their lead pipes without imposing a massive unfunded mandate on these utilities. The EPA estimates that the cost to replace the public water supply pipes could cost between… Read more

Feb 13, 2019

Public Hearing Scheduled for Trump’s Water Rule Proposal

Trump's Water Rule Proposal - Contaminated Pond

The U.S. EPA announced on February 6 plans to hold public hearings in Kansas City on February 27 and 28 to discuss the Trump administration’s attempt to clarify which waters and wetlands receive protections under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The water rule proposal is an attempt to rewrite the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule which the Trump administration believes is overreaching in scope.  The proposed rule (RIN:2040-AF75), still protects rivers and lakes, but not isolated ponds and wetlands.  Protection of intermittent streams, would be based on a complicated formula and based on average flow in a typical year. For… Read more