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Cement industry welcomes WOTUS rethink

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World Cement,

Industry groups have reacted positively to the announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expanded the scope of water bodies falling under federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

Portland Cement Association Executive Vice President, Todd Johnston, applauded the announcements as “the first step in addressing the flawed WOTUS definition rule.”

In a statement to World Cement, Johnston said that the WOTUS definition rule – which expanded federal jurisdiction to almost all bodies of standing water – “represented an unlawful federal overreach that creased enormous uncertainty and unnecessary costs.”

The PCA welcomed the “opportunity to work on a new definition that embraces the Clean Water Act’s goals of protecting and enhancing our nation’s waters, while recognising the primary responsibility of states and property owners to protect land and water resources,” Johnston continued.

“We look forward to a new definition that clearly defines the scope of the Clean Water Act and better balanced the statute’s priorities.”

The WOTUS rule has been controversial since its announcement with the US Chamber of Commerce calling it a “federal land grab” that would have given the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers “unprecedented permitting and enforcement authority over land use decisions that Congress did not authorise.”

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