EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections & More Trending News

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the businesses) introduced a ultimate rule establishing a sturdy definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to scale back uncertainty from altering regulatory definitions, defend folks’s well being, and assist financial alternative. The ultimate rule restores important water protections that had been in place previous to 2015 beneath the Clean Water Act for conventional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, in addition to upstream water sources that considerably have an effect on these waters. As a consequence, this motion will strengthen elementary protections for waters which might be sources of ingesting water whereas supporting agriculture, native economies, and downstream communities.

“When Congress passed the Clean Water Act 50 years ago, it recognized that protecting our waters is essential to ensuring healthy communities and a thriving economy,” mentioned EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Following extensive stakeholder engagement, and building on what we’ve learned from previous rules, EPA is working to deliver a durable definition of WOTUS that safeguards our nation’s waters, strengthens economic opportunity, and protects people’s health while providing greater certainty for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”

“This final rule recognizes the essential role of the nation’s water resources in communities across the nation,” mentioned Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor. “The rule’s clear and supportable definition of waters of the United States will allow for more efficient and effective implementation and provide the clarity long desired by farmers, industry, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders.”

This rule establishes a sturdy definition of “waters of the United States” that’s grounded within the authority supplied by Congress within the Clean Water Act, the most effective out there science, and in depth implementation expertise stewarding the nation’s waters. The rule returns to an inexpensive and acquainted framework based on the pre-2015 definition with updates to mirror present Supreme Court choices, the newest science, and the businesses’ technical experience. It establishes limits that appropriately draw the boundary of waters topic to federal safety.

The ultimate rule restores elementary protections in order that the nation shall be nearer to reaching Congress’ objective within the Clean Water Act that American waters be fishable and swimmable, and above all, protecting of public well being. It can even be sure that the nation’s waters assist recreation, wildlife, and agricultural exercise, which is prime to the American economic system. The ultimate rule will cowl these waters that Congress essentially sought to guard within the Clean Water Act—conventional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, in addition to upstream water sources that considerably have an effect on these waters.

More data, together with a pre-publication model of the Federal Register discover and truth sheets, is on the market at EPA’s “Waters of the United States” web site.

Accompanying the issuance of the ultimate rule, the businesses are additionally releasing a number of sources to assist clear and efficient implementation in communities throughout America. Today, a abstract of 10 regional roundtables was launched that synthesizes key actions the businesses will take to boost and enhance implementation of “waters of the United States.” These actions had been suggestions supplied through the 10 regional roundtables the place the businesses heard straight from communities on what’s working nicely from an implementation perspective and the place there are alternatives for enchancment. The roundtables centered on the geographic similarities and variations throughout areas and supplied web site particular suggestions about the best way the scope of “waters of the United States” has been carried out by the businesses.

Today, the businesses are additionally taking motion to enhance federal coordination within the ongoing implementation of “waters of the United States.” First, EPA and Army are issuing a joint coordination memo to make sure the accuracy and consistency of jurisdictional determinations beneath this ultimate rule. Second, the businesses are issuing a memo with U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer readability on the businesses’ packages beneath the Clean Water Act and Food Security Act.

Background
On June 9, 2021, EPA and the Department of the Army introduced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to higher defend our nation’s important water sources that assist public well being, environmental safety, agricultural exercise, and financial development. On Nov. 18, 2021, the businesses introduced the signing of a proposed rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollution from a degree supply into “navigable waters” except in any other case licensed beneath the Act. “Navigable waters” are outlined within the Act as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” Thus, “waters of the United States” is a threshold time period establishing the geographic scope of federal jurisdiction beneath the Clean Water Act. The time period “waters of the United States” isn’t outlined by the Act however has been outlined by the businesses in laws for the reason that Seventies and collectively carried out within the businesses’ respective programmatic actions

EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections

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EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections

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EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections

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