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

Implementation of the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule has been pushed back until 2020. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army agreed to the extension this week as the two agencies continue the process of repealing and replacing the 2015 rule.

In a Jan. 31 statement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the new applicability date is necessary as the two agencieswork through the process of providing long-term regulatory certainty across all 50 states about what waters are subject to federal regulation.”

ARTBA, which called for the extension in a December 2017 letter, maintains the WOTUS rule improperly extended federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction over roadside ditches and would result in unnecessary permitting delays for transportation construction projects.