Nov 30, 2021 Coalition letter urging agencies to hold national roundtable around WOTUS definition
Dear Assistant Administrator Fox and Acting Assistant Secretary Pinkham:
The undersigned organizations respectfully request that you implement a virtual national roundtable to roll up regional roundtable comments and offer broader stakeholder engagement to respond to your recent request, set forth in your recent Notification of Regional Roundtable Discussions, regarding virtual regional roundtables designed to engage diverse stakeholders concerning the definition of “Waters of the United States.” We represent a diverse stakeholder community comprising agriculture, development, industrial, and state and local government organizations with a strong interest in seeing robust, transparent stakeholder engagement. Our organizations should be represented in any national slate of stakeholders and should be individually included, as is feasible using virtual platforms, in any virtual national roundtable discussion.
A virtual national roundtable will meet the following key objectives:
- Enabling more participation and more voices in the process to ensure the agencies receive the best ideas and account for additional, differing perspectives. The flexibility of the virtual environment enables simple inclusion of more participants.
- Providing a ready-made event to receive direct feedback from regional slates that are not selected, thereby reducing possible criticism related to inclusivity.
- Affording the agencies with a capstone opportunity to build transparency and report back to the broad stakeholder communities at one time on the regional differences, outcomes, experiences, and discussion points from the regional meetings.