Reach of Federal Regulators Over Wetlands and Waterways
During the previous administration, the EPA and the US Army Corps Of Engineers (USACE) drafted the Clean Water Rule, a.k.a. the Waters Of The US (WOTUS) rule to more clearly define the reach of regulators over waters and wetlands of the US.
President Trump, on February 28, signed an Executive Order (EO) that although does not repeal the rule, does begin the process of unwinding WOTUS. The President's EO directs the EPA and USACE to evaluate the rule, likely being the first step in dismantling it.
Taking down WOTUS will have a significant effect in real estate, especially concerning land and private land ownership across the United States. The rule has caused the need for time-consuming and costly permitting on previously unregulated private waters.
WOTUS increased the type and number of waters that fell under its jurisdiction, encumbering lands and preventing private landowners from utilizing their properties to the fullest. Maintaining good water quality should always be a priority, but regulating activities in and around water on private lands should follow common sense and be limited to a reasonable extent.