The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that it is on track to issue a final rule replacing the Obama administration’s 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS)  rule by September 2019.

However, in the latest semiannual regulatory agenda released by the federal government, EPA estimates it will publish a proposed replacement rule this month, which aligns with pledges made recently by EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  However, the complex nature of the rulemaking process could make it difficult for EPA to meet the September 2019 target.

Because of court rulings from federal judges in difference states, the 2015 WOTUS rule is now in effect in 22 states, while WOTUS implementation is blocked in 28 other states.

“We’re hopeful, but they better get busy,” said Don Parrish, senior director for regulatory relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation.  Parrish said it is important that the agencies allow plenty of time for public comment and he supports a 90-day comment period on the new WOTUS proposal.