Biden Administration’s Revised Rule Still Fails to Provide Clear, Durable, and Workable Definition of WOTUS

Arlington, Va., Aug. 30, 2023 – The Essential Minerals Association (EMA) released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule:

“While the Biden Administration has made steps in the right direction through the removal of the significant nexus test and narrowing the definition of adjacent wetlands, the revised rule still fails to provide the clear, durable, and workable WOTUS definition the minerals industry needs to provide the essential minerals that are vital to everyday life,” said Chris Greissing, EMA president.

“Many EMA members operate in areas containing seasonal or intermittent water bodies, and the ambiguity in the revised rule on how EPA will administer the ‘relatively permanent’ test only leads to more confusion for the industry.

“Further, as the January 2023 final rule is still enjoined in over half the country due to litigation, this was a missed opportunity by the Biden Administration to answer the questions posed in those cases and provide industry with the clarity needed going forward. Unfortunately, this will only lead to more confusion and likely even more litigation.

“The definition of WOTUS has far reaching impacts for many sectors, including the mining and minerals industry. This rule was published without any public comment or engagement, leaving the voices of those it will impact left unheard. The agencies have once again squandered an opportunity to work in good faith with stakeholders to develop a clear, durable, and workable WOTUS rule that provides necessary protections for water resources while allowing EMA members to responsibly extract the minerals that are essential to everyday life as well as the green energy transition.”

The Essential Minerals Association (EMA) is the representative voice for companies that extract and process a vital and beneficial group of raw materials and minerals, which are the essential ingredients for many of the products used in everyday life. Formerly, the Industrial Minerals Association – North America, EMA ensures that the voices of its member companies and the socio-economic benefits they provide – from mining to end-use products – are heard by government leaders as well as the general public. Visit to learn more.