Navigable Waters Protection Rule
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule
- Public Comment Period (concluded)
The final "Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'" rule was published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2023, and took effect on March 20, 2023. Please visit the Rule Status page for additional information about the status of the rule and litigation. The agencies developed the 2023 Rule with consideration of the relevant provisions of the Clean Water Act and the statute as a whole, relevant Supreme Court case law, and the agencies’ technical expertise after more than 45 years of implementing the longstanding pre-2015 “waters of the United States” framework. The 2023 Rule also considers the best available science and extensive public comment to establish a definition of “waters of the United States” that supports public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. More information about the 2023 Rule is available here.
The following documents are associated with the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (2020 NWPR), which was vacated by two district courts and replaced in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by the 2023 rule. The 2020 NWPR is not in effect and the materials below are provided for informational purposes.
Navigable Waters Protection Rule Materials
- Final Rule: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”
Navigable Waters Protection Rule Public Comment (concluded)
On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army proposed a revised definition of “waters of the United States” that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register (FR) on February 14, 2019 and was open for a 60-day public comment period. The public comment period closed on April 15, 2019. Comments were posted to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149 and can be found here .
In addition, the agencies established an administrative docket, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480, to solicit pre-proposal recommendations for the Step 2 rulemaking to define “waters of the United States.” The docket closed on November 28, 2017. Written recommendations can be found here in the docket.