Attorney General Frosh’s Statement Following EPA’s Proposal to Weaken WOTUS Rule

Press Release, Office of the Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh

BALTIMORE, MD (December 11, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh issued the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to narrow the definition of waters protected by the federal Clean Water Act:

“EPA’s latest proposal abdicates much of the federal government’s role in protecting and improving the health of our nation’s lakes, rivers, and other waterways. The proposal would give polluters more room to degrade our nation’s waters, erasing decades of progress. EPA’s proposal is misguided, unlawful, and dangerous. We plan to oppose it vigorously.”

In 2015, after a lengthy regulatory process, EPA issued its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, which clarified what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act. That rule gave rise to considerable litigation, much of which remains ongoing. The Trump Administration has proposed to repeal the WOTUS Rule and, in the interim, has sought to delay its effectiveness. Today’s proposal by EPA, if adopted, would replace the WOTUS Rule’s definition of protected waters with a substantially narrower one.