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National Mining Association welcomes newly-proposed WOTUS definition

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Global Mining Review,

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) proposed definition of “waters of the US” (WOTUS) provides long-overdue clarity regarding the scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction, and restores the appropriate balance between state and federal authority over waterways, the National Mining Association (NMA) said yesterday.

“States have an important role in safeguarding land and water resources, and EPA and the Corps’ newly-proposed WOTUS definition restores the proper balance between state and federal environmental protections outlined in the US Constitution and the Clean Water Act. Our laws were designed to both protect our nation’s waterways and provide the regulatory certainty necessary for a thriving economy. This new rule eliminates the harmful federal overreach of the last administration and resolves the uncertainty that has plagued Clean Water Act implementation for decades, offering a long-sought clear path forward for the benefit of all,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and CEO.

According to the NMA, the 2015 WOTUS rule unlawfully expanded the scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction and, contrary to its intended purpose, only added to the confusion surrounding the question of which waters are federally regulated and which are protected by the states.

Rather than provide clear delineations between state and federal waterways, the rule provided federal regulators with expanded authority to regulate marginal waters while calling into question the status of areas never before subject to federal jurisdiction. The NMA claims this resulted in increased confusion and additional costs, delays and financial risks for nearly every sector of the economy, including the mining industry.

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US mining news National Mining Association news