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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AG19 Publication ID: Fall 2022 
Title: Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States” 
Abstract: In April 2020, the EPA and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that revised the previously-codified definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The agencies initiated this rulemaking to exercise their authority to interpret “waters of the United States” to mean the waters defined by the familiar regulations in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS rule, with amendments to reflect the agencies’ determination of the statutory limits on the scope of the WOTUS informed by Supreme Court precedent, the best available science, and the agencies’ experience and technical expertise. The proposal was open for public comment between December 2021 and February 2022. It is planned that this rule will be finalized by the end of 2022. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 120.1   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The agencies intend to pursue a second rule defining waters of the United States to consider further revisions to the agencies' first rule which proposes to restore the regulations in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS rule, updated to be consistent with relevant Supreme Court Decisions. This second rule proposes to include revisions reflecting on additional stakeholder engagement and implementation considerations, scientific developments, litigation, 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.

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
Notice  08/04/2021  86 FR 41911   
Notice  10/25/2021  86 FR 58829   
Notice  11/08/2021  86 FR 61730   
NPRM  12/07/2021  86 FR 69372   
Final Rule  12/00/2022 
Additional Information: .
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Whitney Beck
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4504T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-2553