Trump Administration Solicits Input on WOTUS Replacement

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pursuing a two-step process to repeal the Obama administration's 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule and craft a replacement, using a narrower legal definition promoted by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Trump administration will hold 10 teleconferences and one in-person meeting to solicit input as it prepares to write a new rule defining which streams and wetlands are subject to federal protection. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers outlined a schedule of teleconferences to run through the fall and in-person meeting with small entities on Oct. 23. The newly announced meetings are to solicit input on the second step, a new proposed definition, which Pruitt has said he hopes to unveil by the end of the year.

The agency proposed the first step, to repeal the Obama rule, in July, with the public comment period slated to close in late September. AFS is joining with partner organizations to formally oppose the repeal of the rule.

EPA is setting up a docket for “written recommendations” that will be part of the administrative record for the replacement rule.  Those comments are due Nov. 28. This is an important opportunity to have your voice heard on the importance of headwater streams and wetlands!

DATES: Written recommendation must be received on or before November 28, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Submit your recommendations, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480, at http://www.regulations.gov. This docket, established as a courtesy to the stakeholder community, will be included in the administrative record of the regulation revising the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The full schedule for the Waters of the U.S. webinars can be found here:

Scientific organizations and academia have an opportunity to participate in a webinar on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.The agencies are also planning an in-person meeting with small entities, which will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at the U.S. EPA’s Headquarters located at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20003.