The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army announced plans for community engagements to let people know about their efforts to revise the definition of “WOTUS,” or the Waters of the U.S rule. The goal of the rewrite is to better ensure clean and safe water for everyone.
The EPA and the Army say they are committed to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries. “We will craft an enduring definition of WOTUS by listening to all sides so that we can build on an inclusive foundation,” says EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “Uncertainty over the definition of WOTUS has harmed our waters and the stakeholders and communities that rely on them. I look forward to engaging all parties as we move forward to provide the certainty that’s needed to protect our national resources.”
The agencies will revise the WOTUS definition by following a process that includes two rulemakings. “It’s vital that farmers and rural Americans have a seat at the table and a voice in this process so that the rule responds to concerns and realities on the ground,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “All stakeholders should share their experiences and views to help shape future policy.”