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Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Response to Comments for the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States"

The Response to Comments Document, together with the preamble to the final Clean Water Rule, presents the responses of the EPA and the Department of the Army to the more than one million public comments received on the proposed rule (79 FR 22188 (Apr. 21, 2014)). The agencies have addressed all significant issues raised in the public comments.

Because of the volume of comments received, the Response to Comment Document is presented in a number of different topical compendiums. Each of these compendiums is available below. The compendiums were numbered for convenience based on the database used to track incoming comments, and no particular meaning is intended by the numbering system.  In total, all of these compendiums represent the agencies’ formal Response to Comment Document.

These compendiums have been formatted to be compliant with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, the compendiums have been reformatted to ensure margins, typeface, comment and response numbers, and identification of pictures with text are consistent throughout. There have been no changes to the content or substance of the Response to Comment document that was prepared at signature of the Clean Water Rule.

The Response to Comments Document, together with the preamble to the Clean Water Rule and the information contained in the Technical Support Document, the Science Report, and the rest of the administrative record should be considered collectively as the agencies’ response to all of the significant comments submitted on the proposed rule. Where there are slight differences, the language in the final preamble and rule controls and should be used for purposes of understanding the scope, requirements, and basis of the final rule.

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