Apr 15, 2019 Waters Advocacy Coalition Comments on Proposed Rule, Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”
In comments filed by the Waters Advocacy Coalition, IPAA joined a large cross-section of the nation’s construction, transportation, real estate, mining, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, energy, wildlife conservation, and public health and safety sectors supporting EPA’s step in realigning the WOTUS definition with Congress’s intent for the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
“The Waters Advocacy Coalition (“WAC” or “Coalition”) writes to provide comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or the “Act”), 84 Fed. Reg. 4154 (Feb. 14, 2019) (the “proposed rule”). WAC appreciates the agencies’ efforts to increase predictability and consistency by clarifying the scope of WOTUS regulated under the Act. In enacting the CWA, Congress exercised its commerce power over navigation and granted EPA and the Corps (together, the “agencies”) specific, limited powers to regulate “navigable waters,” defined in the CWA as “waters of the United States.” For years, the agencies’ regulations and guidance documents have attempted to expand the WOTUS definition beyond its constitutional and statutory limits, and this proposed rule is an important step in re-aligning the WOTUS definition with Congress’s intent for the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Act. The proposed rule gives meaning to the term “navigable” and recognizes that a defining feature of the CWA is to preserve the states’ traditional and primary authority over land and water use, attempting to restore the appropriate balance between state and federal oversight authority in this area…”