ABC: New WOTUS Definition Muddies the Waters for Contractors

Washington, Dec. 30—Associated Builders and Contractors today issued the following statement from Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States”:

“By repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule’s commonsense definition of ‘waters of the United States’ and returning Clean Water Act enforcement to unpredictable, case-by-case determinations of jurisdiction, the Biden administration’s final WOTUS rule is a significant step back in establishing unambiguous water quality protections that provide clarity for contractors. This rule will delay critical infrastructure projects and raise costs for the construction industry and taxpayers without providing meaningful improvements to water quality.

“The fact that the Army Corps and EPA have issued this rule while the U.S. Supreme Court case on CWA jurisdiction in Sackett v. EPA is still pending further compounds the confusion and regulatory uncertainty that will result from this rulemaking. As the Army Corps and EPA consider future rulemakings on this issue, ABC urges the agencies to postpone further action until the Supreme Court issues its ruling.”

About ABC

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 22,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 68 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at