EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) sharply criticized the agency’s recent decision to narrow the definition of the Waters of the US (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act in a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on February 27.
“In summary, current scientific understanding of the connectivity of surface and ground water, which has been reviewed by the SAB previously, is not reflected in the proposed Rule,” SAB concluded. “Specifically, the proposed definition of WOTUS excludes ground water, ephemeral streams, and wetlands which connect to navigable waters below the surface. The proposed Rule does not present new science to support this definition, thus the SAB finds that the proposed Rule lacks a scientific justification, while potentially introducing new risks to human and environmental health.”
Read the full letter here.