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The EPA Is Expanding Its List of Protected Waterways—Here’s Why Industry Associations Are Pushing Back

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The EPA Is Expanding Its List of Protected Waterways—Here’s Why Industry Associations Are Pushing Back

The Environmental Protection Agency is redefining the "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) protected under the Clean Water Act, but industry experts say the new rule nullifies benefits of the 2021 federal infrastructure law

February 1, 2023
Miami waterway between condo buildings
Image: stock.adobe.com

In late December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule defining the “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, that are protected under the Clean Water Act. The controversial move has since garnered criticism from industry associations such as the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the Associated General Contractors of America, and the National Multifamily Housing Council, which have joined forces to block the rule, arguing it’s unconstitutionally broad, Construction Dive reports.

EPA’s ruling creates a new roadblock for an already clogged supply chain, and according to ARTBA, it also reverses some of the benefits of the 2021 federal infrastructure law.

The outcome of the industry groups’ litigation, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, is still unknown. A pending decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in a separate case related to WOTUS that’s due out this summer could also further impact the issue. 

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