Agriculture groups that fought to “Ditch the rule!” scored a huge victory.
EPA officially pulled the Clean Water Rule (CWR) aka the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.
CWR would’ve expanded federal jurisdiction over irrigation ditches, prairie potholes and intermittent streams.
Farmers, ranchers, real estate and oil and gas firms dug in the second EPA proposed it in 2014. Industry warned CWR would lead to thousands of new permits and reg headaches.
Fertilizer, pesticide and animal waste runoff remains a major problem. Citizens’ groups and state agencies will try to catch polluters.
Efforts to expand clean waters reach on hold
Seasoned pros know the Clean Water Act (CWA) was an offshoot of the Commerce Clause, which served to limit the feds’ oversight largely of interstate pollution.
A new rule (if one is forthcoming before 2021) will limit fed control according to the Supreme Court’s reading of the CWA in its 2006 Rapanos decision.