APWA Submits Comments on “Waters of the United States” Rule

Today, the American Public Works Association (APWA) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the recodification of the “Waters of the United States” rule. In 2015, the agencies published the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of `Waters of the United States'” (80 FR 37054, June 29, 2015), and 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. The agencies propose to replace the stayed 2015 definition of “Waters of the United States”, and re-codify the exact same regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 rule.

APWA’s comments support this decision, as the lack of clarity in the 2015 rule has led to uneven implementation across the country, making the jobs of public works departments more difficult. The comments also make clear APWA’s position that simply recodifying the previous rule is not a solution, as the previous rule does not have reasonable scope limitations. APWA urges the agencies to review and revise the 2015 rule, as a clear and concise rule is a necessary second step in this process.

You can read APWA’s comments here, and view the Federal Register post at their website.