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Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rulemaking

Applicability Date to the 2015 Rule

On this page:

Public Comment Periods - Applicability Date

Open Public Comment Periods

There are currently no open public comment periods.

Closed Public Comment Periods

The agencies accepted comment on the proposed rule "Definition of 'Waters of the United States' - Addition of Applicability Date to 2015 Rule" through December 13, 2017. Comments can be found in the docket.


Final Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” – Addition of an Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule

Please visit “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’: Rule Status and Litigation Update” for updates regarding the status of this final rule. On January 31, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Rule defining “waters of the United States.”  The 2015 Rule will not be applicable until February 6, 2020

Given uncertainty about litigation in multiple district courts over the 2015 Rule, this action provides certainty and consistency to the regulated community and the public, and minimizes confusion as the agencies reconsider the definition of the “waters of the United States” that should be covered under the Clean Water Act. 

The agencies’ new rule is separate from the two-step process the agencies propose to take to reconsider the 2015 Rule.

The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 22, 2017The public comment closed on December 13, 2017. Comments can be found in the docket. The final rule was signed on January 31, 2018, and was published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2018.