Biden administration returning to science when enforcing WOTUS rules

Throughout its history the US Army Corps of Engineers has had purview over water that flows into bodies that can support navigation and in 2014, through the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Obama White House moved to more closely identify the sources of non-point pollution. Despite a judge's ruling EPA went forward with a new federal rule protecting small streams, tributaries and wetlands. The Waters of the United States legislation sought to give authority to the EPA to use some teeth to enforce the rights of people downstream to have clean water even from some sources that the US Geological Survey has already identified as impaired.
In 2018 New Mexico's Hector Balderas joined a bipartisan group of mostly western attorneys general that included Republicans Tim Fox of Montana and former South Dakota AG Marty Jackley in a lawsuit against the Trump Organization's EPA. They argued EPA failed to promote a rule that would have forced hard rock mines to meet federal financial bond rules passed during the Obama years. 
On his first day in office, President Biden issued a flurry of executive orders to reverse actions taken by the Trump administration. Among those, a review of the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (2020NWPR) was included and had the effect of revising the Obama-era Clean Water Rule that included a fairly broad definition of the term “Waters of the US” (WOTUS). On June 9, 2021, as a result of the review of the 2020NWPR triggered by Biden’s Executive order 13990, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced “their intent to revise the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity and economic growth." [Policy pennings: Biden administration to reconsider “Waters of the US” definition and regulations]
Regulations are protections so if EPA actually enforced bonding requirements federal rules could supersede state regulations and can change with each administration to satisfy political expediency instead of advancing the greater good.
David Brooks, Montana Trout Unlimited’s executive director, said the 2015 rule was established by a well-vetted process that incorporated both public participation and strong science, and he’s encouraged to see the EPA consider a return to that rule. [What ‘waters of the U.S.’ means for Montana]
According to Rachel Conn, projects director for Taos-based Amigos Bravos, New Mexico is one of just three states that has no authority from the EPA to regulate discharges of pollution so she was party to the suit seeking to reverse the Trump edict. Learn more about that at the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate socialism unless they benefit from subsidies so desertification driven by livestock grazing and industrial agriculture has turned parts of the high plains and much of my home state of South Dakota into scorched earth.

Trump’s military rescinded the surplus water agreements just before President-elect Joe Biden took the oath.

ip photo: the Rio Grande at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

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