EPA, Army announce WOTUS virtual public meetings

On July 30, the EPA and the Department of the Army announced a schedule for initial public meetings to hear from interested stakeholders their perspectives on defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and how to implement that definition as the agencies pursue this process. The public meetings will be held as web conferences in August, with one date reserved in September, if needed.

The EPA and the Army announced in June their intent to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the requirements that were in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation, which Georgia Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau and numerous agricultural stakeholder organizations opposed. This will involve establishing two new rules – a “foundational” rule that restores pre-2015 requirements and a second rule that builds on the foundational rule.

These actions are in accordance with an executive order issued by President Joe Biden in January. Biden ordered the EPA and Army to review the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which was developed under an executive order from then-President Donald Trump. NWPR was implemented in 2020

The agencies intend to engage with state and tribal co-regulators and the public as a part of these two rulemakings. For more information regarding federalism and tribal consultation, please contact CWAwotus@epa.gov. Additional information about tribal consultation may also be found on the Tribal Consultation Opportunities Tracking System website.

The virtual meetings schedule:

Aug. 18 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. registration

Aug. 23 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. registration

Aug. 25 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. (for small entities) registration

Aug. 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. registration

Aug. 31 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. registration