Proposal to axe illegal US waters rule welcomed

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn issued this statement following the recent announcement of the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and recodify the definition of jurisdictional waters that preceded it, as called for by the Feb. 28, 2017 Presidential Executive Order:

“This sets in motion a welcome correction to a deeply problematic regulation that ignored the careful balance that Congress struck between federal and state water regulation and constitutional limits on federal authority.”

“Under the guise of clarifying federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the WOTUS rule impermissibly expanded federal jurisdiction to virtually any standing body of water – from roadside drainage ditches to local green energy projects.”

“We look forward to working with the administration as it replaces the WOTUS rule with environmentally responsible policies that provide regulatory clarity for businesses and proper recognition of state authority to manage water quality as Congress intended.”

According to The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA), “President Trump and Administrator Pruitt fulfilled their promise to end federal overreach and get out of the way of responsible development. AEMA applauds the end of the flawed and misguided Obama-era WOTUS rule. This federal effort would have had a devastating effect on the jobs mining provides.

The Obama WOTUS rule greatly expanded Clean Water Act jurisdiction over ephemeral streams, adjacent waters and ditches and would have substantially increased the time and costs of obtaining required permits.

“Our members are greatly encouraged to see the Trump administration undo this unnecessary rule and return states’ authority over water regulation and regulatory certainty that is crucial to a prosperous American mining industry,” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “Mining is ready to get back to work and grow communities. Ending this deeply flawed rule allows us to do just that.”