Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a proposal to repeal the extremely harmful Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The Texas Royalty Council has been watching this rule for a number of years and is very happy with this proposal that provides some much-needed certainty to Texas royalty owners, the oil and natural gas industry, and landowners.
WOTUS is part of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This act greatly expanded the EPA’s regulatory authority by allowing the agency to control areas that only sometimes held water. It was literally the biggest government land grab in history. It gave the EPA the ability to exert fines and essentially control how the oil and gas industry and landowners managed their surface water. This even included ditches and small puddles.
Tricia Davis, Texas Royalty Council and American Royalty Council President said, “This is a great day for our country, all industries, royalty and land owners. We are truly grateful our new leadership has taken the action needed to repeal this dangerously flawed rule.”
WOTUS created unnecessary fears and concerns for the Texas oil and gas industry, royalty owners and landowners who questioned whether they would be allowed to continue operations like building roads, drilling, farming, or anything that causes contact with surface water due to the threat of an EPA citation.
We are truly grateful our new leadership has taken the action needed to repeal this dangerously flawed rule. The current proposal will simply revert back to the pre-Obama version of the rule so that it can be corrected and common sense can be added to this serious regulatory overreach.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said a new water rule to replace WOTUS will be issued in the fourth quarter of this year or early next year.
The new comment period is only 30 days and will begin as soon as it hits the Federal Register.