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EPA and Army Take Next Step in Joint Efforts to Redefine “Waters of the United States”

WASHINGTON  — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) will be sending a proposed “Step 2” rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. The agencies will issue the proposal for public comment after the interagency review process is complete.

“Farmers, ranchers, landowners, and other stakeholders are counting on EPA to listen to their input when it comes to defining ‘waters of the United States,’” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today, we are taking an important step toward issuing a new WOTUS definition and answering President Trump’s call to ensure that our waters are kept free from pollution, while promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the federal government and the states under the statutory framework of the Clean Water Act.”

“From day one we have been focused on bringing common sense and fairness back to the rulemaking process,” said Army (Civil Works) assistant secretary R.D. James. “Today’s action highlights our commitment to listening to public input, providing clear and transparent rules, and ensuring that our waters remain clean and our economy can continue to thrive.” 

EPA and the Army are working through a two-step process to consider revisions to the definition of “waters of the United States,” consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order 13778. 

For more information: www.epa.gov/wotus-rule

© Copyright 2020 United States Environmental Protection Agency


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The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

  • all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
  • environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies...