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The EPA is proposing to reverse the "Waters of the U.S." rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule.
This important regulation dates back to 2015. It extended federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to small water bodies like headwaters, wetlands and some ponds.
Now the EPA wants to rescind the rule and the agency is (as required by law), seeking public comment.
The issue is being cast as a "states rights" issue because federal jurisdiction over these water bodies would preclude state control over the same waters. However, the rule was published only after a public comment period and numerous meetings with state entities, public and private stakeholders. there was no change to the exemptions for activities necessary to forestry, ranching, or farming. This rule provides clearer protection of many waters of the U.S. that, if polluted, could have detrimental effects on drinking water, habitats, and flood-prone areas.
After the EPA gathers and analyzes the comments, it can make changes to the rule or repeal it entirely. It is likely that the agency would replace it with a very restrictive definition of waters subject to federal jurisdiction. Litigation would almost certainly follow this decision.
If you favor retention of the rule, submit your comments as follows:
Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203, at http://www.regulations.gov
NOTE: the official comment period opens when the proposal is published in the Federal Register, which is likely to be Friday, July 28. Until then, regs.gov won't open this comment page.
Before August 29.
If you want to read the official proposal: https://s3.amazonaws.../2017-13997.pdf