Deadline for Comments on Feds Water Rule Extended Again
Tell EPA to Withdraw the Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have once again extended the public comment period on their jointly proposed rulemaking that redefines “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The new comment deadline is Nov. 14, 2014. Use the AGC Regulatory Action Center to submit comments on this rule.
This is the second extension the agencies have announced since the rule was proposed in April. The extension will allow time for EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to review the agency’s draft report on the connectivity of streams and wetlands, the purported scientific basis for the proposed rule. AGC hopes the extension will give its chapter and members more time to submit their own comments on the agencies’ proposal.
AGC encourages members to use the template letter in the AGC Regulatory Action Center to help craft their comments to EPA and the Corps on the agencies’ proposal. The proposal asserts federal control over waters that were previously under the sole jurisdiction of the states, including many ditches, conveyances, isolated waters, and other wet features. More projects will have to comply with federal permitting and other environmental requirements, increasing the time and cost of performing construction services.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also is circulating a set of comments, which are designed to highlight the business/industry objections to the rulemaking. The Chamber’s comments are available for your review here, and a one-page summary sheet can be found here. AGC of America is joining the Chamber’s effort in addition to comments that AGC already filed on municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), additional forthcoming AGC of America comments (construction industry specific), and forthcoming comments from the Waters Advocacy Coalition that will address in detail the legal, scientific and economic deficiencies associated with the WOTUS rulemaking. AGC sits on the steering committee for the Waters Advocacy Coalition – a broad group of concerned associations (representing farmers, home builders, miners, manufacturers and many other business sectors) that depend on our nation’s water resources.
For more information, please contact AGC’s Scott Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5321 or Leah Pilconis at email@example.com.
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