Tell the EPA Office Of Water To Stop This Craziness

EPAwaterlogo In: Tell the EPA Office Of Water To Stop This Craziness | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

The EPA has sent out the following message with an opportunity at the end for the public to contact their office with comments.  Let’s flood their office and tell them not to take this step backward.  Our planet cannot afford more abuse; we need even more protection for our environment.

Please go on the record and see if we can’t convince those in power we prefer a healthy planet over money.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-



EPA, U.S. Army Move to Rescind 2015 “Waters of the U.S.”

The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Army, and Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) are proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining “waters of the United States” or WOTUS. This action would, when finalized, provide certainty in the interim, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of “waters of the United States.” The proposed rule would be implemented in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance, and longstanding practice.

“We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” said Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine ‘waters of the U.S.’ and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public.”

This proposed rule follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The February Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. To meet these objectives, the agencies intend to follow an expeditious, two-step process that will provide certainty across the country.

The proposed rule would recodify the identical regulatory text that was in place prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule and that is currently in place as a result of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s stay of the 2015 rule. Therefore, this action, when final, will not change current practice with respect to how the definition applies.

The agencies have also begun deliberations and outreach on the second step rulemaking involving a re-evaluation and revision of the definition of “waters of the United States” in accordance with the Executive Order.

“The Army, together with the Corps of Engineers, is committed to working closely with and supporting the EPA on these rulemakings.  As we go through the rulemaking process, we will continue to make the implementation of the Clean Water Act Section 404 regulatory program as transparent as possible for the regulated public, ” said Mr. Douglas Lamont, senior official performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. 666 For the pre-publication Federal Register Notice and additional information:  

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  2. “The Clean Water Rule was created after the EPA held more than 400 meetings with stakeholder groups across the country and published a combination of more than 1,200 studies in peer-reviewed scientific publications. The rule’s strong grounding in the Clean Water Act and reliance on the significant scientific evidence showed the need for strong and clear protections against pollution in America’s rivers, lakes, and waterways.”

  3. Reading the history of the “WOTUS” is downright dizzying. I gather that this “Step 1” of the 2-step plan changes nothing – it “reinstates” definitions in effect before the 2015 order, which has been stayed by the courts since last year. Step 2, the redefinition of WOTUS, is going to be the bigger deal. What naive me is not getting is some of the paper thin definitional nuances and their effect on exempting industry from the rules. This cries for a “plain English” explanation. I perceive polluting industries hiding behind pages of legalese.

  4. I agree that “our planet cannot afford more abuse; we need even more protection for our environment” but the Waters of the United States Rule doesn’t work towards that goal in its current form. Lets retract the current rule and get it done right the next time around. Creating regulation for regulation’s sake is not more protective. We can do better as a society.

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