EPA Deputy Administrator Announces Advocacy-Hosted Environmental Roundtable Examining Small Business Implications of Proposed Rules under the Clean Water Act

At a Glance:
Who: U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy
What: Environmental Roundable on rules proposed by the EPA/Army Corps of Engineers affecting the Clean Water Act
When: Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. POSTPONED
Contact: Assistant Chief Counsel Kia Dennis, Kia.Dennis@sba.gov or 202-205-6936

UPDATE: This roundtable has  been postponed, and further details about the new date will be announced soon.

The Office of Advocacy will host an environmental roundtable on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. to discuss a regulation proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proposed rule defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Advocacy’s upcoming roundtable was announced on June 11 by EPA Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe at a hearing held by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment which explored the potential impacts of the proposed changes to the CWA jurisdictional rule.

The June 24 environmental roundtable meeting is open to all interested persons, with the exception of the press, in order to facilitate open and frank discussion about the impacts of the proposed regulation on small entities. The roundtable will feature a presentation of the rule by EPA and Corps representatives and a discussion of small business implications.

Please contact Assistant Chief Counsel Kia Dennis by email at Kia.Dennis@sba.gov or by telephone at 202-205-6936 to learn more about the roundtable or to RSVP.

Background: Under the proposed rule, decisions regarding whether or not a waterbody is subject to the CWA will affect small entities which need to determine whether or not their activities require authorization and/or permits under CWA.

Under the regulations, the term “waters of the United States” would mean:

(1) All waters which are currently used, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;
(2) All interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;
(3) The territorial seas;
(4) All impoundments of waters as specifically identified in the rule;
(5) All tributaries of waters as specifically identified in the rule;
(6) All waters, including wetlands, adjacent to a water specifically identified in the rule; and
(7) On a case-specific basis, other waters, including wetlands, provided that those waters alone, or in combination with other similarly situated waters, including wetlands, located in the same region, have a significant nexus to a water specifically identified in the rule

Waters that do not meet this definition are not subject to the CWA. There are several programs under the CWA that would be affected by this proposed rule including but not limited to Section 311, oil spill prevention programs; Section 402, which requires permits for pollutant discharges; and Section 404, which covers permits for the placement of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States. Comments on the proposed rule are due by October 20, 2014.

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