This week saw significant activity related to the Waters of the U.S. rule, also known as WOTUS.
On Friday, January 15, President Obama vetoed the Resolution of Disapproval that was passed by Congress. This resolution was passed under the authority of the Congressional Review Act and would have prohibited the EPA from implementing the WOTUS rule.
On January 20, the Senate attempted to override that veto, but that vote was unsuccessful. A successful veto override requires a supermajority (67 votes) of the Senate and there were insufficient Democrats to vote yes to override the veto.
There will be other opportunities in this Congressional session to halt the the WOTUS rule. In addition, the judicial stay from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that stopped implementation nationwide of the rule is still in effect.
This regulatory stay, while important, is temporary. NAR has opposed this rule from its inception and will continue to push for a legislative solution to determine which waters are considered to be under federal jurisdiction and which are not.