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Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rulemaking

Tribal Consultation

Consistent with the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, the EPA and Department of Army undertook tribal consultation while developing the Step 2 revised definition of "waters of the United States." Tribal consultation followed the terms of the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes and applicable guidance. 

Five national tribal meetings or teleconferences, five regional tribal meetings or teleconferences (i.e., Regional Tribal Operations Committee), and two individual tribal and Agency staff-to-staff meetings were held during the consultation period, April 20 through June 20, 2017. From the close of the consultation period to present, the agencies have continued to give updates at national or regional teleconferences and meetings and held an in-person tribal workshop in March 2018. They have also held three tribe-specific leader-to-leader consultation teleconferences/meetings and seven tribe-specific staff-level teleconferences since the close of the consultaiton period. The agencies continue to honor requests for individual consultation, as such requests are received. A summary report of tribal consultation and engagement for this rulemaking are available in the docket for the proposed rule.  

Tribal Consultation Materials

Informational Webinar for Tribes - May 18, 2017

Tribal Update Materials

Presentation for December 12, 2017 Webinar for Governmental Partners

Tribal Consultation Letters

Forty-four (44) comment letters were submitted as part of the Tribal consultation process, and additional letters may still be pending. Two tribes submitted follow-up comment letters. This total count includes letters from:

  • 34 individual tribes
    • 22 signed by tribal leaders
    • 15 signed by tribal staff
  •  7 state/regional/national tribal groups or fish commissions that represent multiple tribes

All letters received in this tribal consultation effort are published online and are linked below by EPA Region. They are also available in the docket for the Step 2 proposed rule.