On June 9, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Corps) announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The agencies’ process includes two rulemakings: (1) A foundational rule to restore longstanding protections to the pre-2015 regulatory regime, with updates consistent with relevant Supreme Court decisions, and (2) a rulemaking process that builds on that regulatory foundation to craft a refined definition of WOTUS. The agencies expressed their intent to engage with state and tribal co-regulators, as well as the public, to learn from their experiences under the past regulatory approaches. In addition to public meetings and ten regionally-focused roundtables with co-regulators, the agencies accepted written recommendations.
On September 3, 2021, the public comment period closed on the EPA’s Request for Recommendations: Waters of the United States (Docket #EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0328). EPA received over 23,000 written comments, in addition to feedback from various public meetings.
Below is a selection of comments submitted by our western states.