WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcement to withdraw the flawed “Waters of the U.S.” rule under the Clean Water Act and looks forward to the opportunity to participate in the development of a new rule.
“The nation’s counties support clean water and common-sense environmental regulations,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “We look forward to working with the agencies to ensure a collaborative intergovernmental process, greater clarity and a pragmatic rule to advance clean water goals without hindering counties’ vast public safety and infrastructure responsibilities.”
Counties own and manage public safety infrastructure including 46 percent of the nation’s road miles and many associated ditches, 40 percent of bridges, as well as flood control channels, drainage conveyances and culverts used to prevent flooding, all impacted by the rule.
“Because counties play a critical role in implementing and enforcing federal water laws, it is crucial that the agencies work with us to develop regulations that work at the local level,” Chase added. “Counties are on the front lines of preserving local resources, strengthening public safety and fostering economic growth, which all contribute to vibrant communities across the country.”
Since the rule was originally proposed in 2014, NACo consistently requested that the agencies withdraw and revamp the rule, inclusive of state and local government concerns. NACo testified before congressional bodies four times and steadfastly advocated for more collaboration and greater clarity. For more information, visit NACo’s online resource hub and action center.