There is a new development in the never-ending saga that is the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Today, the 6th Circuit took the formal action of vacating its temporary injunction and dismissing all of the challenges to the rule.
Soon after the rule was finalized by the Obama Administration, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction ensuring that the so-called “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule would not be enforced. The court also issued a ruling proclaiming that it had jurisdiction to hear all of the challenges to the rule.
On Jan. 22, the Supreme Court overruled the 6th Circuit, explaining that the initial challenges to the WOTUS rule must be heard in the federal district (trial) courts.
But not to fear: The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saw this coming. So on Feb. 6, the agencies finalized a rule called Definition of “Waters of the United States”—Addition of an Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule.” This rule adds an applicability date to the 2015 WOTUS Rule of Feb. 6, 2020. Thus, the WOTUS rule is not to be applied until 2020.
Between now and 2020, NAHB will work with the Administration to craft a new WOTUS rule that does not exceed the bounds of the Clean Water Act and provides the clarity that our members need. For additional information, contact Tom Ward.