Monday, June 12 at 12:00pm EDT
On June 12 at 12:00pm EDT, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has scheduled a conference call for NACo members to discuss their upcoming rewrite of the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule under the requirements of Executive Order (EO) 13132—Federalism. EO 13132 requires federal agencies to consult with elected state and local government officials (or their respective national organizations) on yet-to-be-proposed rules that impact state and local governments. This call is ideal for those counties that want to learn more about the WOTUS rule rewrite and/or for counties who plan to submit comments on the rewrite.
Call in information:
Monday, June 12
Call-in number: 877.744.6030
Conference ID: 35905065
To access the powerpoint during the call, go to: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/wotus2-naco/
*Please call in a few minutes ahead to provide the operator with the conference ID.
The conference call is a result of President Trump’s February 28 EO on “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The EO directs the EPA and the Corps to revisit and rewrite the 2015 WOTUS rule. The agencies will discuss several options under consideration for the rulemaking, including an effort to develop a new WOTUS definition based on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006). In Rapanos, the Corps was challenged over its intent to regulate isolated wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit program. In a 4-1-4 split decision, Justice Scalia’s plurality opinion stated that federal jurisdiction should only include waters with a relatively permanent flow. The agencies are accepting comments from state and local governments on this proposal until June 19. Please send comments to CWAwotus@epa.gov and copy Julie Ufner, Associate Legislative Director, NACo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOTUS is a term used in the Clean Water Act to define which waters (and their tributaries) fall under federal or state jurisdiction. In 2015, the Obama Administration finalized a new definition of WOTUS, which was immediately challenged in the courts. Since the 2015 rule was originally proposed, NACo has expressed numerous concerns about the rule’s impact on county-maintained ditches and other water infrastructure.