WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed new definition of "Waters of the U.S."
“Counties are on the front lines of environmental protection and stewardship. In advocating for improvements to the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, we have championed greater intergovernmental collaboration and practical, clearer definitions. Our focus has been to advance clean water goals without hindering counties’ economic competitiveness and vast public safety and infrastructure responsibilities.
“We appreciate the administration’s efforts to clarify this problematic rule. Over the years, the rule’s federal overreach has resulted in confusion, inconsistencies and costs across the nation, inhibiting essential infrastructure upgrades – including environmental mitigation projects – and triggering delays, unnecessary red tape and lawsuits.
“We look forward to reviewing the new proposal and working with the administration to implement a rule that makes sense and ensures that our water resources are protected.”
Counties own and manage transportation and public safety infrastructure, including 46 percent of the nation’s road miles and 40 percent of bridges, as well as flood control channels, drainage conveyances, ditches and culverts used to prevent flooding, all impacted by the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.
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 www.NACo.org/WOTUS.
Contact: Brian Namey, firstname.lastname@example.orgStandard