The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Army will hold 11 stakeholder input sessions on the proposed revised definition of “waters of the United States.”
Nine sessions will be two-hour long teleconferences that will be tailored for specific sectors, one will be open to the general public and one will be an in-person session for small entities.
“EPA is committed to an open and transparent process for reviewing the definition of ‘waters of the United States,’” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Receiving input from across the country will help us make informed decisions as we move through our two-step process that will return power to the states and to provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses.”
The stakeholder sessions will be held on a weekly basis beginning Sept. 19 and will continue each Tuesday thereafter for ten weeks. Each will run from 1 to 3 p.m. eastern time. Information on how to register for each of these meetings is available on the EPA website. Registration for each webinar will close a week prior. Those wishing to provide verbal recommendations during the teleconference will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the expected volume of participants, individuals will be asked to limit their oral presentation to three minutes.
Stakeholder Sessions Schedule
- Sept. 19, 2017 – small entities (small businesses, small organizations and small governmental jurisdictions)
- Sept. 26, 2017 – environment and public advocacy
- Oct. 3, 2017 – conservation, e.g., hunters and anglers
- Oct. 10, 2017 – construction and transportation
- Oct. 17, 2017 – agriculture
- Oct. 24, 2017 – industry
- Oct. 31, 2017 – mining
- Nov. 7, 2017 – scientific organizations and academia
- Nov. 14, 2017 – stormwater, wastewater management and drinking water agencies
- Nov. 21, 2017 – general public
The agencies are also planning an in-person meeting with small entities, which will be held from 9-11 a.m. ET Oct. 23, 2017, at the U.S. EPA’s Headquarters.
The agencies are following a two-step rulemaking process. The recommendations gathered through these stakeholder sessions, in addition to the feedback the agencies are hearing through ongoing outreach to state, local and tribal governments, will help inform the step two rulemaking, which would revise the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
Submit written comments
The agencies will also be accepting written recommendations on the step two rulemaking effort through a non-regulatory docket (EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480). The agencies ask that this information be submitted on or before Nov. 28, 2017.
In step two, the agencies will pursue notice-and-comment rulemaking in which the agencies will conduct a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of “waters of the United States.”
The comment period for the first step review of the definition of the “waters of the United States” ends Sept. 27, 2017. Submit comments, identified by Docket Id. EPA-HQ-2017-0203, at regulations.gov. As of Sept. 7, 144,413 comments had been received.
This first step proposes to rescind the definition of “waters of the United States” in the Code of Federal Regulations to re-codify the definition of “waters of the United States,” which currently governs administration of the Clean Water Act, pursuant to a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit staying a definition of “waters of the United States” promulgated by the agencies in 2015.
Additional information: http://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule
Source: EPA, regulations.gov