WOTUS Repeal CO
The public comment period for the EPA's final Waters of the U.S. or WOTUS repeal has expired. With the formal repeal published the trump administration is working on a rewrite.
The repeal overturns the Obama-era WOTUS rule that added Clean Water Act protections to streams and wetlands. That drew criticism from ag and other industries that claimed it was an overreach. The Clean Water Act set up a structure to regulate pollution discharge into water and included definitions like ephemeral and dry features. Those include things like gullies and washes, which are all over the state, along with temporary water features that run wet in the spring during runoff and run dry the rest of the year.
The Trump administration’s follow-up rule will replace the regulation with a new, narrower definition of the waterways that warrant federal protection.
Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke to the National Associationof Manufacturers at the EPA's WOTUS repeal signing.
Duvall: “Farmers want to make sure that the water’s clean. They want to protect their natural resources. But just like Mr.s James says, if you’re a regulator it was impossible to regulate it.”
Colorado was one of 25 states that initially won injunctions blocking the WOTUS rule - claiming it interfered with state sovereignty. Later the state withdrew from the suit.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has said he will take a close look at the Trump administration’s new law on clean water regulations. Weiser says he might challenge the unwinding of the Waters of the United States Rule if he determines that the Environmental Protection Agency has gutted the policy to the extent that Colorado’s water quality could suffer without sufficient oversight.