WOTUS, also known as Water of the United States, was confusing and difficult to understand, at best. WOTUS said, all waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to ebb and flow of the tide; All waters including interstate wetlands; All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams, mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows… look, the point is, who writes this stuff?! Since when does the government own rain, snow and the natural rivers they create as gravity pulls water over the earth’s surface? I know, nothing to debate here, the ship has sailed.
The WOTUS ruling in 2015 has now been replaced by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is a two-step process to establish federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The rule defines four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions and defines terms in the regulatory text. It’s ridiculous to say the Navigable Waters Protection Rule is a good thing, but compared to 2015 WOTUS, it is! Keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground to learn how the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule will apply to your farming or ranching operation.