WOTUS and the Clean Water Rule - Proposed Replacement Waters of the US Rule Open for Public Comment until April 15, 2019
There are now 48 days left for the public to submit comments on the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a new rule that would leave an estimated half of the nation's wetlands and about a fifth of our streams without Clean Water Act protections. This rule change will drastically reducing the scope of waters covered by the Clean Water Act. The 60-day comment period on the proposed rule ends on April 15, 2019. Read the proposed rule here.
Note: The rule was originally released in December but the government shutdown delayed official publication in the Federal Register. The 60-day comment period began on February 14, 2019.
LWV UMRR welcomes our member Leagues to work with us to submit comments. If your League would like to be part of this effort, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
( The following article from the Water Protection Network's December 18, 2018 newsletter)
The Trump Administration last week released its proposed replacement "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule, dramatically reducing the scope of waters protected by the Clean Water Act. If the proposed rule is finalized, many wetlands and streams will no longer be covered by the landmark 1972 law, leaving them vulnerable to pollution from mining, manufacturing, industrial agriculture, and other sources.
Click here to read the proposed rule from the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA.
Click here to listen to Circle of Blue's December 17 episode of "What's Up With Water?" about the proposed rule's definitions, history, and implications.
Click here to read more from the EPA about the proposed rule.
What's Included and Excluded by the Proposed WOTUS Rule
Illustration above from the EPA and Army of what would be included or excluded from Clean Water Act protections under the proposed revised definition of "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS).
These waters would be protected under the proposed rule:
Traditionally Navigable Waters (TNG), perennial and intermittent tributaries, some lakes and ponds, some ditches, and wetlands directly adjacent to other included categories.
These waters would be excluded from Clean Water Act protections under the proposed rule:
Wetlands not directly adjacent to the above included categories - such wetlands are an estimated 51% of the nation's wetlands; ephemeral streams that flow only in response to rainfall and snowmelt, which make up an estimated 18% of the nation's streams, some ponds and lakes, some ditches, groundwater, stormwater, and wastewater.