By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) June 15 sent draft revisions of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), marking a significant milestone in the Trump administration’s efforts to rewrite the Obama-era regulation.

OIRA will review the revisions before releasing the WOTUS rewrite for public comment. There is no timetable for this, but ARTBA will promptly notify its membership when the new version is available for review.

The association has long held that the WOTUS rule needs substantial revision, and remains in litigation to repeal the rule in its current form. When enacted in 2015, ARTBA issued comments that the regulation improperly extended federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over roadside ditches. This would result in unnecessary permitting requirements that delay critical transportation construction projects.