The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army announced on May 4 the final schedule and locations of 10 roundtables meant to engage stakeholders on the newly proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). Each of the 10 roundtables will be held in a separate region of the United States and will be sponsored by different industry and municipal organizations.
WOTUS is a federal rule that is used to define those waters that fall under federal jurisdiction vs. state jurisdiction.
According to the EPA, “the agencies are working with each selected roundtable to facilitate engaging discussion on implementation of ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS), and to ensure full understanding of regional differences.”
More information about the regional roundtables can be found here.
Last year, the EPA and Army proposed a new definition of WOTUS in hopes of creating a more “durable” and long-lasting rule. The rules defining WOTUS are often reworked and altered when a new presidential administration takes control of the EPA and Army, which has led to years of uncertainty and constant lawsuits.
Shortly after the new rule was proposed, NGWA submitted comments to the EPA urging that groundwater continue to be controlled by the states and left out of the WOTUS definition.
For more information, email Ben Frech, NGWA public relations and government affairs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 551-7379, ext. 1570.