Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) in Las Vegas.
lan Parks, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) member of Memphis Stone & Gravel, says: “The new WOTUS definition continues to protect our nation’s water and provides clarity on several key exclusions such as ponds built on dry land, pits and basins associated with mining, and streams that only convey water after storm events. Knowing that our gravel pits and water treatment basins won’t carry an additional federal regulatory burden is very helpful. These changes will allow us to be even better stewards of our local natural resources, which results in a positive benefit to our community.”
NSSGA says the revised WOTUS rule replaces the 2015 version, which has led to increased costs for aggregates producers. The new rule better aligns with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court decisions by including navigable waters, adjacent wetlands and tributaries as waters that are federally regulated, the association adds.
NSSGA environmental committee chairman Mark Williams of Luck Companies, says: “The scope of federal jurisdiction over waters has been confusing for years, causing permitting delays. The implementation of the 2015 WOTUS rule made matters worse. We are pleased that the new rule provides important environmental protection of waters that need it most, while ensuring clarity to aggregates producers like Luck. It’s important that both the regulators and NSSGA members are able to understand when a federal permit is required, so we can continue to provide materials for vital infrastructure projects.”
NSSGA Michael W. Johnson, says: “NSSGA members have worked for years to get a WOTUS rule that aligns with congressional intent by providing necessary protections while allowing aggregates producers the regulatory certainty by which to plan and operate their businesses and provide the necessary infrastructure projects America needs.”