Earlier this week, small businesses all across America took a stand against a proposed rule on the nation’s water resources. This proposed rule, called the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, could have very damaging effects on small business if it were to be enforced. The businesses have now filed their own court documents arguing against the rule, citing potential harm if it were to pass.

What is the WOTUS Rule?

The Waters of the United States rule was proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to define the scope of the federal government’s authority in protecting the nation’s water resources. The WOTUS rule is a broad expansion of the federal government’s authority over water sources and the activities taking place near them, such as farming, construction, and more.

Potential Harm to Small Businesses

Small businesses, especially ones in rural areas, are particularly vulnerable to the potential impacts of the WOTUS rule, as it could drastically limit their capabilities in conducting activities near water sources. The businesses argued in their court filing that if the rule were to be enforced, it could result in:

  • Higher Costs – Small businesses could incur higher costs due to compliance costs and higher permitting fees.
  • Lower Revenue – Small businesses would likely experience a decrease in revenue due to slowed activity, as wetlands are important natural resources that must be protected and cannot be disturbed.
  • Job Losses – With slowed activity, small businesses could be faced with job losses as a result.

The Fight for Fair Regulations

The court documents filed by the small businesses demonstrate a stand against the WOTUS rule, what they consider an extreme and unfair regulation. Instead, they have argued for a fair and more balanced approach to protecting the nation’s water sources, one that does not cause such drastic impacts on small businesses. The jury is still out on the WOTUS rule and the effects it will have on small businesses, but this filing shows the importance of ensuring that the regulations imposed are fair and not too severe.