Ag News

EPA, Army Corps of Engineers publish revised WOTUS rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the revised “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule in the Federal Register on Feb. 14, and the agencies are accepting public comments on the rule.

During a Feb. 6 visit to McCorkle Nurseries in McDuffie County, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler outlined the components of the new definition, as well as pointing out things defined as not being part of WOTUS.

The definition has six components: traditional navigable waters; tributaries to those waters, certain ditches that were constructed to be navigable or tributaries; certain lakes and ponds, impoundments and wetlands adjacent to any of the other five components.

Wheeler noted key non-WOTUS features: those that only contain water during or in response to a rainfall; ground water; many ditches, including roadside and farm ditches; prior converted cropland and stormwater control and wastewater treatment features.

The two agencies originally announced the rulemaking in December, but the public comment process was delayed by the federal government shutdown.

The deadline to submit comments is April 15. To read the proposed rule or submit a comment, visit