Jan 20, 2023
ARTBA Joins WOTUS Lawsuit Against EPA
ARTBA Jan. 18 joined a broad coalition of industry groups suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in federal court over its recent rule that expands federal jurisdiction over roadside ditches.
ARTBA’s lawsuit states that EPA’s Dec. 30 rule will “result in case-specific, time consuming and inconsistent analyses” which will “substantially increase the costs and burdens” of obtaining regulatory permits for transportation construction. That means delays in delivery of transportation projects, which threatens to nullify the 2021 federal infrastructure law’s benefits.
At issue is how EPA defines bodies of water that qualify as “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS), and therefore subject to federal authority. ARTBA has consistently urged EPA not to consider ditches as protected waterways under WOTUS, noting that they act as an important conduit for draining water from roads under construction– an essential safety feature.
In coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sackett v. EPA, could set limits on EPA’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction and render portions of its new proposed rule invalid.