Waters of the United States
Order Vacating and Remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies continue to review the order and consider next steps. This includes working expeditiously to move forward with the rulemakings announced on June 9, 2021, in order to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The agencies remain committed to crafting a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is informed by diverse perspectives and based on an inclusive foundation.
EPA and Army Announce Public Meeting Schedule, Solicit Pre-Proposal Recommendations on “Waters of the United States”
EPA and Army are announcing a series of engagement opportunities on defining “waters of the United States”, including an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide written recommendations; a series of public meetings in August; and a plan for regionally-focused and inclusive roundtables during the fall and winter.
EPA and Army Announce Intent to Initiate Rulemaking Process to Replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule
EPA and the Department of the Army are intending to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation and develops a new rule to establish a durable definition of "waters of the United States." Further details of the agencies’ plans is provided here.