The founders of the environmental regulatory platform, Ecobot, discuss the policy changes that will affect wetlands and construction permits.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The American public should be aware of the impacts of environmental regulation changes and what that means for the economy and the responsible management of our natural resources.
“The continual policy changes over the past eight years create unnecessary complexity to environmental regulation,” Jeremy Schewe, PWS, Chief Scientific Officer of Ecobot said. “It’s essential that our country have a consistent, science-based rule to follow. The balance of natural resource protection and economic progress is critically important.”
The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule of 2015 granted the federal government greater regulatory control over streams and wetlands with significant hydrological or ecological value. The rule was established by the Obama administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a clarification of the 1972 Clean Water Act. This rule was changed in 2020 via the Navigable Waters Rule initiated by a 2017 executive order by the previous administration. The change pulled back the amount of authority of the federal government over WOTUS with the intention to reduce compliance costs and expedite project starts. Not only has this change fallen short of its goal, but if left alone, it will undermine environmental protections in exchange for short-term profit.
“It is vital that the government does not change and amend laws every four years that pertain to the Clean Water Act regulations,” Schewe said. “We need to put down political differences and focus on policies that keep our waterways clean and safe for people everywhere.”
The Biden administration is expected to ask courts to put WOTUS litigation on ice to give the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) time to decide if and how to rewrite the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
Alert to these changes in policy, Ecobot’s founders have built a one-of-a-kind platform that saves time and money on environmental assessments while improving accuracy of required wetland determinations ahead of construction projects. “The moves by the Biden administration are absolutely a step in the right direction,” Lee Lance, CEO of Ecobot said. “But we need to do more. It’s the 21st century. We have the necessary tools. Let’s use them.”
The team at Ecobot brings together thought leaders, software applications and innovative hardware advances from all aspects of the industry to ensure a more resilient future in the face of the impacts of climate change. “We have an opportunity to end the political pendulum around the costs and time requirements for environmental regulation by leveraging new technologies to both preserve the environment and alleviate backlog for infrastructure, energy and construction, while providing certainty around regulatory policies,” said Lance.
Ecobot empowers the AEC and environmental consulting industry to better serve their clients by reducing the time and expenses required to complete environmental regulatory reporting, while providing certainty through more accurate reporting. Field scientists make critical decisions that inform land use and use Ecobot to submit thousands of wetland delineation reports to the USACE each month. See how Ecobot can transform your natural resources consulting workflow at ecobotapp.com.