Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replaced the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule with the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The new rule identifies four categories of waters that are federally regulated, while also providing the critical distinction of detailing which waterways are not subject to the rule. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule provides state and local authorities more flexibility to determine how best to manage waters within their borders.

Attorney General Hunter said the new rule is a significant improvement over the Obama-era WOTUS Rule, which the attorney general has previously called illegal.

“The Navigable Waters Protection Rule restores the state’s authority to ensure clean water in Oklahoma, and frees farmers, ranchers, developers and other land owners from costly regulation over every puddle and dry ditch on their property,” Attorney General Hunter said. “No longer will our citizens bear the brunt of the economically destructive bureaucratic overreach of the Obama-era WOTUS Rule. The new rule protects our environment while providing clarity and consistency, and will allow for sustained economic growth. The administration is to be commended for making this a priority.”

The four categories of waters that are federally regulated under the Navigable Waters Protection Rule are the following:

Territorial seas and traditional navigable waters;

Perennial and intermittent tributaries to those waters;

Certain lakes, ponds and impoundments; and

Wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters.

These four categories protect the nation’s navigable waters and the core tributary system that flows into those waters.

The final rule also details what are not “waters of the United States,” which include:

Features that only contain water in direct response to rainfall;

Groundwater;

Many ditches, including most roadside and farm ditches;

Farm and stock watering ponds;

Waste treatment systems; and

Prior converted cropland.

Read more on the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, here: https://bit.ly/36p0jdY.

The final rule becomes effective 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.