Gov. Doug Burgum today welcomed the release of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule for providing greater clarity of the Waters of the United States for North Dakota farmers and ranchers, landowners, state agencies and others.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced the new rule today after finalizing the repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule last year. The revised definition of WOTUS clearly identifies four categories of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. It also details waters that aren’t subject to federal control, including groundwater, most farm and roadside ditches, and features that only contain water when it rains.

“In stark contrast to the confusing 2015 WOTUS rule, this new definition provides clarity and common sense for landowners and state agencies on what constitutes jurisdictional waters. We believe this rule can work in concert with our state regulations, which already protect both our surface waters and groundwater,” Burgum said. “We appreciate the Trump administration’s considerable efforts to consult with governors and other stakeholders on this rule, recognizing our ability as states to manage our own waters effectively, because no one cares more deeply about clean water than the people who live here.”