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Water-Related News

WOTUS is ‘doomed’ under Trump, experts say 

The future of the Obama administration’s top achievement for source water policy is not looking hopeful.

The waters of the U.S. rule (“WOTUS”) is an update to Clean Water Act regulations that the U.S. EPA says is necessary because Supreme Court decisions obscure jurisdictional questions under the law.

Even before staunch WOTUS opponent Donald Trump was elected, the rule was mired in difficulty. As Greenwire put it, WOTUS was on “life support.”

“Dozens of lawsuits and a nationwide stay halted U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers' plans to implement the new standards on the ground,” the report said.

But the election results mean the outlook for WOTUS is getting even worse. Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau said, per Greenwire: "I think this rule is ultimately doomed."

What does this mean for the daily operations of water and wastewater utility managers?

It helps to look at what the implications of WOTUS would have been. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) released a document summarizing how the WOTUS update may impact water utilities. The document notes that Clean Water Act implementation “has significant implications for the day-to-day operations and capital infrastructure planning necessary to drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, recycled water, and irrigation water utilities.”