Regulatory Advisory - Proposed rule on waters of the U.S.

26 Mar 2014 10:50 AM | Ward Marotti (Administrator)

http://www2.epa.gov/uswaters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are publishing for public comment a proposed rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), in light of the U.S. Supreme Court cases in U.S. v. Riverside Bayview, Rapanos v. United States, and Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC), and Rapanos v. United States (Rapanos).  Today’s proposal would enhance protection for the nation’s public health and aquatic resources, and increase CWA program predictability and consistency by increasing clarity as to the scope of  “waters of the United States” protected under the Act…

the agencies are interested in comments, scientific and technical data, caselaw, and other information that would further clarify which “other waters” should be considered similarly situated for purposes of a case-specific significant nexus determination. The agencies seek comment on a number of alternative approaches. These alternatives include potentially determining waters in identified ecological regions (ecoregions) or hydrologic-landscape regions are similarly situated for purposes of evaluating a significant nexus, as well as the basis for determining which ecoregions or hydrologic-landscape regionsshould be so identified. The agencies also solicit comment on whether the legal, technical and scientific record would support determining limited specific subcategories of waters are similarly situated, or as having a significant nexus sufficient to establish jurisdiction.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before [INSERT DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER].

 

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2011–0880by one of the following methods:

 

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for

submitting comments.

 

E-mail: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA–HQ–OW–2011–0880 in the subject line of the message.

 

Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2011–0880.

 

Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket, ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2011–0880. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is 202–566–2426.

Comments

  • 22 Oct 2014 12:25 PM | Anonymous
    Here in the eastern US, and particularly in jurisdictions with isolated wetland rules of their own, the impact of the proposed definition will be minor if noticeable at all. However, in other areas of the country this may not be the case. As a comment on the process that may suit all areas in their ecologically specific ways - consider mandating that each of the 10 EPA regions develop their own definition of what is jurisdictional.

    Otherwise - I am supportive of the changes proposed.
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