Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act

January 15, 2003

Volume 68, Number 10

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 1991-1998]

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of "Waters of the United States''

AGENCIES: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, DOD; and Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are today issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in order to obtain early comment on issues associated with the scope of waters that are subject to the Clean Water Act (CWA), in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159 (2001) (SWANCC).

Today's ANPRM requests public input on issues associated with the definition of "waters of the United States'' and also solicits information or data from the general public, the scientific community, and Federal and State resource agencies on the implications of the SWANCC decision for jurisdictional decisions under the CWA.

The goal of the agencies is to develop proposed regulations that will further the public interest by clarifying what waters are subject to CWA jurisdiction and affording full protection to these waters through an appropriate focus of Federal and State resources consistent with the CWA.

The input received from the public in response to today's ANPRM will be used by the agencies to determine the issues to be addressed and the substantive approach for a future proposed rulemaking addressing the scope of CWA jurisdiction.

Pending this rulemaking, should questions arise, the regulated community should seek assistance from the Corps and EPA, in accordance with the joint memorandum attached as Appendix A.

DATES: In order to be considered, comments or information in response to this ANPRM must be postmarked or e-mailed on or before March 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Mail comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2002-0050.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on this ANPRM, contact either Donna Downing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (4502T), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20460, phone: 202-566-1366, e-mail: CWAwaters@epa.gov , or Ted Rugiel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN CECW-OR, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000, phone: 202-761-4595, e-mail: Thaddeus.J.Rugiel@HQ02.USACE.ARMY.MIL