Defining what is a Water of the United States (WOTUS) has been a “flip-flop” on rulemaking and court decisions over various administrations over the last 15 years. In August 2021 Arizona district court ruled that the Trump version of WOTUS is vacated. More info at https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404/2008-rapanos-guidance-and-related-documents-under-cwa-section-404. On 11/18/21, EPA issued a proposed rule to revise the definition of WOTUS. The rule puts back in place the pre-2015 definition of WOTUS. Final rule is expected to blend Obama era and Trump era WOTUS rules but lean more toward Obama era. Comment period for the proposed rule closed 2/7/22.
On February 24, 2022, EPA and Army announced the selection of ten roundtables that highlight geographic differences and a range of perspectives—including agriculture, conservation groups, developers, drinking water and wastewater managers, environmental organizations, communities with environmental justice concerns, industry, Tribal nations, and state and local governments. The agencies will work with each selected roundtable to facilitate engaging discussion on the implementation of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), while highlighting regional differences. The agencies anticipate hosting these regional roundtables virtually over the spring and summer.” For access to the roundtables that have occurred as well as for other information please visit: https://www.epa.gov/wotus/public-outreach-and-stakeholder-engagement-activities