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National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) reports:

In comments before a House Appropriations Subcommittee budget hearing on Wednesday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan pledged not to return to the Obama administration's definition of the U.S. Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. "We don't have any intention of going back to the original Obama Waters of the U.S. verbatim," Regan said.

In remarks to Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Regan said the agency plans to have "a stakeholder engagement process" with agriculture and environmental groups to craft the WOTUS rule in a balanced way.

"We've learned lessons from both [versions of the rule], we've seen complexities in both and we've determined that both rules did not necessarily listen to the will of the people," Regan added.

Under the Obama administration in 2015, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a new WOTUS rule that gave EPA broad jurisdiction over U.S. waters to include upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams. The WOTUS rule was immediately challenged in court and subject to several preliminary injunctions.

The Trump administration repealed the 2015 rule in 2019 and in June 2020, replaced it with the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR).

NPPC supports the NWPR and has actively served in a leadership role in the litigation involving the 2015 WOTUS rule, as well as challenges to the NWPR.

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