EPA, Army to host online Midwest WOTUS roundtable Monday
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army will host a Midwest-focused regional online roundtable on “waters of the United States” on Monday from 3 to 5 p.m. Central time.
The virtual roundtable was organized by the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation and is one of 10 roundtables intended to highlight diverse perspectives and regional experiences on WOTUS implementation, EPA said in a news release.
“Through these engagements, the agencies will hear from participants representing agriculture, conservation groups, developers, drinking water and wastewater managers, environmental organizations, communities with environmental justice concerns, industry, Tribal nations, and state and local governments,” EPA said.
The Biden administration is rewriting what is informally known as the WOTUS rule. The Obama administration wrote the first WOTUS rule, which was then rewritten by the Trump administration. The point of the rewrites is to address conflicting rulings by the Supreme Court on what constitutes waters that are to be regulated by the federal government.
EPA said in an explanation, “The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants from a point source to navigable waters unless otherwise authorized under the act. Navigable waters are defined in the act as ‘the waters of the United States,] including the territorial seas.
“Thus, ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) is a threshold term establishing the geographic scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The term ‘waters of the United States’’is not defined by the act but has been defined by EPA and the Army in regulations since the 1970s and jointly implemented in the agencies’ respective programmatic activities.”
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