In 2015 the Obama administration published a new definition of “Waters of the United States (WOTUS).” In February 2019, the Trump administration proposes changes to that definition. See Federal Register Vol 84, No 31. The public has until April 15, 2019 to comment on the changes to the proposed definition of WOTUS.
Trump’s proposed rule change first repeals the Obama changes and then redefines the WOTUS, by omitting the nexus theory*, redefining navigable waters and adding “a typical year” and “upland” definitions. See comparison.
In my mind all water is interconnected. So why define it at all. Every impact is significant whether the waters are navigable or not. I believe the emphasis instead should be on how to determine jurisdictional authority and who will keep our water the safest.
*Nexus theory “includes two parts. First, there must be a connection to a downstream waters of the US. Second, the area in question must have an effect on the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of traditional navigable water.” (SwampSchool)
To submit comments regarding these proposed changes, use one or all of the methods below. Be sure to identify Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2018–0149 as the subject:
•Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ (preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
•Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW– 2018–0149 in the subject line of the message. Paste Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW– 2018–0149 into the search box.
•Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Office of Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460. Include Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW– 2018–0149 in the subject line of the letter.
And don’t forget to let your congressmen know how you feel. Go to congress and don’t forget to identify Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2018–0149 as the subject .