Opportunity for public comment is now open. The comment period will close on Monday, April 15th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
The very narrow rule fails to account for the full range of physical, chemical, and biological connections between navigable waters and the streams and wetlands. The limited protections proposed for our nation’s waters threatens fish and fisheries and the communities that rely on them.
When headwaters are polluted, or headwater habitats are destroyed, fish, fisheries, and ecosystem services are compromised. Headwaters are key to the sustainability of fish stocks in both upstream and downstream waters. Threatened and endangered species will be harder to recover, and more species will be at risk of becoming imperiled. Simply put, loss of protections for headwaters would have grave consequences for fish and fisheries and would have far reaching implications for fish, wildlife and their habitats, as well as economies dependent on those systems.
The proposed rule is an unprecedented rollback of the Clean Water Act, yet the agencies have not offered an analysis of the impacts of the new rule. This narrow rule fails to properly consider the well-established science and imperils fish and aquatic resources and communities that rely on them. A shift of this magnitude merits a full assessment of the impacts of eliminating protections for so many waterways.
Here’s the link to the rule and the comment period: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states
The comment period details are below:
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149
Comments must be received on or before April 15, 2019.
You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149, by any of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/ (our preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
- Email: [email protected]. Include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149 in the subject line of the message.
- Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Office of Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
- Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Docket Center’s hours of operations are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (except Federal Holidays).