Training and Implementation Memos
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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 ("NWPR") nationwide and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice. The agencies are 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.
On November 18, 2021, the agencies announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” This proposal marks a key milestone in the regulatory process announced in June, 2021. The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This familiar approach would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the current implementation and future regulatory actions.
To ensure consistent and effective implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, the agencies developed a series of work products involving training, implementation memos, and resources.
Navigable Waters Protection Rule Webcast - February 13, 2020
EPA and the Department of the Army held a public webcast to explain key elements of the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule Webcast Recording
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule Webcast Presentation Slides
Navigable Waters Protection Rule Overview and Discussion of CWA Programs - June 9, 2020
This webinar provides an overview of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and discusses how the final rule may affect various Clean Water Act programs.
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule Overview Webinar Recording
- Navigable Waters Protection Rule Overview Webinar Presentation Slides
“Typical Year” - June 16, 2020
This webinar focuses on the definition and application of the "typical year" concept in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule when determining the jurisdictional status of certain waters.
Tributaries, Ditches, Flow Regime, and Assessment – June 23, 2020
This webinar focuses on the definitions of “tributary,” “ditch,” and flow regimes in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, as well as key implementation tools, including regional Streamflow Duration Assessment Methods (SDAMs). Note: while SDAMs are discussed in this webinar, more detailed information on SDAMs is available here.
Adjacent Wetlands, Lakes, Ponds, and Impoundments – June 30, 2020
This webinar discusses the definitions of “adjacent wetlands” and “lakes, ponds and impoundments of jurisdictional waters” in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule as well as related implementation considerations.
- Adjacent Wetlands, Lakes, Ponds, and Impoundments Webinar Recording
- Adjacent Wetlands, Lakes, Ponds, and Impoundments Webinar Presentation Slides
Exclusions and More – July 7, 2020
This webinar discusses the 12 categories of exclusions (features that are not “waters of the United States”) in the Navigable Water Protection Rule and includes a discussion of topics not otherwise addressed in the webinar series.
Elevation and Coordination Procedures for Certain Determinations under the Clean Water Act (“TNW Memo”) (rescinded November 17, 2021)
The 2020 TNW memorandum established an additional and unnecessary step directing the Corps and EPA to coordinate with Headquarters on any determinations concluding a water is a traditional navigable water based solely on evidence of recreation-based commerce.
The underlying law has not changed. As a result, the agencies are retaining guidance in the form of a legal memorandum identifying categories of traditional navigable waters determinations that was developed as an appendix to the Rapanos Guidebook in 2007 and was retained under both the Clean Water Rule and the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
- NWPR TNW Coordination Rescission Memorandum (pdf)
- Read the rescinded TNW Memorandum
- 2007 Legal Memorandum on TNWs (pdf)
Memorandum to the Field on Exemptions from Regulation under Section 404(f)(1)(C) of the CWA for the Construction or Maintenance of Irrigation Ditches and for the Maintenance of Drainage Ditches (“Ditch Exemptions Memo”)
The purpose of the Ditch Exemptions Memo is to provide a clear, consistent approach regarding the application of the exemptions from regulation under section 404(f)(1)(C) of the CWA for the construction or maintenance of irrigation ditches and for the maintenance of drainage ditches (“ditch exemptions”).
Memorandum to the Field Concerning Implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and the Food Security Act (FSA) of 1985 ("Ag Memo")
The purpose of this memo is to minimize duplication of efforts pursuant to the CWA section 404 program and the FSA Wetland Conservation Provisions and to facilitate the agencies’ efforts to ensure that federal wetland programs, including those that identify prior converted cropland, are administered in an efficient and effective manner.
Memorandum to the Field on Coordination to Ensure Consistent Implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“Coordination Memo”)
The purpose of this memo is to is to facilitate consistent implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and to continue strong coordination between the agencies.