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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AG13 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Revised Definition of "Waters of the United States"--Rule 1 

In April 2020, the EPA and the Department of the Army (the agencies) published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) that revised the previously codified definition of "waters of the United States” (85 FR 22250, April 21, 2020). The agencies are now initiating this new rulemaking process that restores the regulations in place prior to the 2015 "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States’” (80 FR 37054, June 29, 2015), updated to be consistent with relevant Supreme Court decisions. The agencies intend to consider further revisions in a second rule in light of additional stakeholder engagement and implementation considerations, scientific developments, and environmental justice values. This effort will also be informed by the experience of implementing the pre-2015 rule, the 2015 Clean Water Rule, and the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 120.1   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

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’" (80 FR 37054, June 29, 2015). In April 2020, the agencies published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (85 FR 22250, April 21, 2020).  The agencies conducted a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of "waters of the United States" in accordance with the Executive Order 13990 and determined that they need to revise the definition to ensure the agencies listen to the science, protect the environment, ensure access to clean water, consider how climate change resiliency may be affected by the definition of waters of the United States, and to ensure environmental justice is prioritized in the rulemaking process.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).


To be determined.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

To be determined.


To be determined.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2021 
Additional Information: .
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Sectors Affected: 11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; 111 Crop Production; 111998 All Other Miscellaneous Crop Farming; 112990 All Other Animal Production 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Related to 2040-AF75  Related Agencies: Joint: DOD/COE; 
Agency Contact:
Whitney Beck
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4504T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-2553