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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AF75 Publication ID: Fall 2018 
Title: Revised Definition of "Waters of the United States" 
Abstract:

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) published the Clean Water Rule: "Definition of Waters of the United States (2015 Rule) (80 FR 37054, June 29, 2015).” On October 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the 2015 Rule nationwide pending further action of the court. On February 28, 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13778, Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States’ Rule,”,” which instructed the agencies to review the 2015 rule and rescind or replace it as appropriate and consistent with law. The agencies are publishing this proposed rule to follow the first step, which sought to recodify the definition of "waters of the United States" that existed prior to the 2015 rule. In this second step, the agencies are conducting a substantive reevaluation and revision of the definition of waters of the United States” in accordance with the Executive order.

 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 110    40 CFR 112    40 CFR 116    40 CFR 117    40 CFR 122    40 CFR 230    40 CFR 232    40 CFR 300    40 CFR 302    40 CFR 401   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This rulemaking action responds to the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order: Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the United States" Rule. To meet the objectives of the Executive order, the EPA and Department of the Army (Agencies) are engaged in an comprehensive, two-step rulemaking process. This action follows the first step to recodify the pre-existing definition of "waters of the United States." In this second step, the Agencies are conducting a reconsideration of the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the EO.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The rule is proposed under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. section 1251 et seq.

Alternatives:

Alternatives have not yet been developed at this time.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

An economic analysis analyzing anticipated costs and benefits will be developed for the rulemaking at the time of proposal.

Risks:

This action does not establish an environmental standard intended to address environmental or health risks.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/00/2018 
Final Rule  09/00/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael McDavit
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
TS-767C, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mail Code 4504T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-2428
Email: cwawotus@epa.gov

Rose Kwok
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Mail Code 4504T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-0657
Email: cwawotus@epa.gov