Letter to Army Corps and EPA: Advocacy Submits Comments in Support of Revised Definition of Waters of the United States, but Suggests More Clarity
On February 14, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a proposed rule titled: “Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States.’”1 This proposed rule defines the scope of waters subject to federal jurisdiction and regulation under the Clean Water Act. This proposed rule is the second step in a two-step process to both rescind the previous definition, and here, to revise the existing definition.
The Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) applauds EPA and the Corps’ efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to provide a clear, concise, and consistent definition and application that can be used to determine which waters are jurisdictional, thereby providing additional certainty to regulated entities as to the current definition. While Advocacy and small businesses are generally in favor of this proposed rule, additional specificity is necessary to ensure that the rule provides the utmost clarity. Advocacy is concerned that the agency improperly certified that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification appears to lack a factual basis as required by statute.