Skip to content
  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Articles
  4. UPDATE : Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

UPDATE : Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

In early 2020 the Trump Administration enacted the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” which rolled back the number of waterways protected by Clean Water Act: including about half the country’s wetlands and millions of miles of streams. Environmentalists nicknamed this the Dirty Water Rule.

On Nov 18 2021, the EPA reversed the 2020 “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” and returned the “Waters of the United States” to it’s pre-2015 definition. Learn what Southern Environmental Law Center said about this here.

Now, there is a chance to amend the pre-2015 WOTUS and strengthen existing protections.
The agencies are hosting virtual public hearings in January 2022. 

Register to speak at a hearing, please use the online registration forms available at:  

Talking points are available here.

About the (now repealed) Navigable Waters Protection Rule

The Clean Water Act stipulates, among other things, that companies wishing to discharge pollutants into protected waterways, or fill in protected wetlands, apply for permits. It also enables the imposing of fines when a spill occurs.

There was no science behind removing these waterways and wetlands from protections. In fact, the EPA based the pre-2020 protections on a comprehensive scientific report.

Was this article helpful?

Ask a Scientist

Have a science question? We have science answers. Please send us an email and we'll get back to you. Thank you for your curiosity.
Ask Science

Science for Georgia is a 501(c)(3). We work to build a bridge between scientists and the public and advocate for the responsible use of science in public policy.

Back To Top