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Can President Trump Throw Out WOTUS?

by Ken Root

One Week past the election and there are plans to throw out the most hated EPA regulation, but it won’t be easy to end the Waters of the U.S. Rule.

President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign he wants the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule gone, but it won’t likely be gone on day one of his presidency.

Much of agriculture cannot get rid of WOTUS fast enough and President-elect Trump, like his predecessors, will have the chance to reverse earlier presidential actions.

American Farm Bureau senior counsel for public policy Danielle Quist says trump can’t end WOTUS, but he can start the process.

“With the new trump administration, epa, and the corps of engineers, can go through the formal process to withdraw the WOTUS Rule, but they would have to go through the same public notice and comment, and formal agency action as they did before. That in turn would  be challenged by groups that disagree with that decision, and then we would be right back in court.”

Federal Courts have put the Obama EPA rule on hold, but that does not get rid of the vast expansion of federal water jurisdiction if the stay is lifted.

Quist says with Trump in the White House, a GOP-led Congress will now have a better shot to end WOTUS. “There is a fresh opportunity for congress to put and end to this rule once and for all, but this time with the full support of the president. That would save farmers, ranchers, the states, and everyone in the public community.”

There are Obama actions that Trump can reverse immediately, including one to require agency mitigation planning before approving projects. Those include the Departments of Agriculture, Interior and Defense.