Definition of “Waters of the United States”-Schedule of Public Meetings, 40742-40743 [2017-18214]

Download as PDF 40742 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 165 / Monday, August 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers 33 CFR Part 328 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 110, 112, 116, 117, 122, 232, 300, 302, and 401 [EPA–HQ–OW–2017–0480; FRL–9966–99– OW] Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’—Schedule of Public Meetings Department of the Army; and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Announcement of public meeting dates. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) will hold ten teleconferences to hear from stakeholders their recommendations to revise the definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Nine of the teleconferences will be tailored to a specific sector, i.e., agriculture (row crop, livestock, silviculture); conservation (hunters and anglers); small entities (small businesses, small organizations, small jurisdictions); construction and transportation; environment and public advocacy (including health and environmental justice); mining; industry (energy, chemical, oil/gas); scientific organizations and academia; and stormwater, wastewater management, and drinking water agencies. One of the teleconferences will be open to the public at large. The teleconferences will run throughout the fall on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. eastern time, beginning on September 19, 2017. In addition, the agencies will hold an inperson meeting with small entities on October 23, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.–11 a.m., and will accept written recommendations from any member of the public. DATES: Written recommendation must be received on or before November 28, 2017. ADDRESSES: Submit your recommendations, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2017–0480, at http://www.regulations.gov. This docket, established as a courtesy to the stakeholder community, will be included in the administrative record of the regulation revising the definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The agencies asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Aug 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 will not be formally responding to the recommendations. Follow the online instructions for submitting recommendations. Once submitted, your submission cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The agencies may publish any submission received to the public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Damaris Christensen, Office of Water (4504–T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566–2428; email address: CWAwotus@epa.gov; or Ms. Stacey Jensen, Regulatory Community of Practice (CECW–CO–R), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314; telephone number: (202) 761–5903; email address: USACE_CWA_Rule@usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 28, 2017, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O.) entitled ‘‘Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ Rule’’. This E.O. states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the Constitution. The E.O. directs the agencies to review the Clean Water Rule for consistency with these priorities and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule, as appropriate and consistent with law. Further, the E.O. directs that the agencies shall consider interpreting the term ‘‘navigable waters,’’ as defined in 33 U.S.C. 1362(7), in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006). Justice Scalia’s opinion considers CWA jurisdiction as including relatively permanent waters and wetlands with a continuous surface connection to relatively permanent waters. The agencies are implementing the E.O. in two steps to provide as much certainty as possible as quickly as possible to the regulated community and the public during the development of the ultimate replacement rule. For the first step, the agencies proposed on July 27, 2017, a rule to re-codify the regulation that was in place prior to issuance of the Clean Water Rule and PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 that is being implemented now under the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s stay of that rule.1 The comment period for this first step proposed rule is open until September 27, 2017. For the second step, the agencies plan to propose a new definition that would replace the approach in the 2015 Clean Water Rule with one that is consistent with the approach outlined in the E.O. In June 2017, the agencies completed consultation processes with tribes as well as state and local governments on the step 2 rulemaking. The meetings described below will provide other interested stakeholders opportunity to provide pre-proposal feedback on this second step rule to revise the definition of ‘‘waters of the U.S.’’ Both EPA and the Corps are aware that the scope of CWA jurisdiction is of intense interest to a broad array of stakeholders and therefore want to provide time for broad pre-proposal input. The teleconferences in this notice are intended to solicit recommendations for Step 2 and potential approaches to defining ‘‘waters of the United States.’’ During the upcoming teleconferences, EPA will provide brief background information on the step 2 rulemaking, and progress to date. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input, particularly with regard to the charge in the E.O. and opinion of Justice Scalia. The teleconferences will be held on a weekly basis beginning September 19 and will continue each Tuesday thereafter for ten weeks. Each will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. eastern time. Information on how to register for each of these meetings is available on the EPA Web site at https://www.epa.gov/ wotus-rule/outreach-meetings. Registration for each webinar will close a week prior. Persons or organizations wishing to provide verbal recommendations during the teleconference will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the expected volume of participants, individuals will be asked to limit their oral presentation to three minutes. Supporting materials and comments from those who did not have an opportunity to speak can be submitted to the docket as discussed above. The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows: • Tuesday, September 19, 2017— small entities (small businesses, small 1 The Clean Water Rule was promulgated on June 29, 2015 (80 FR 37054). It was in effect in most of the country for a two-month period before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nation-wide stay. The agencies are currently implementing the previous regulatory definition of ‘‘waters of the United States’’ in light of the stay. E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 165 / Monday, August 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules organizations and small governmental jurisdictions); • Tuesday, September 26, 2017— environment and public advocacy; • Tuesday, October 3, 2017— conservation, e.g., hunters and anglers; • Tuesday, October 10, 2017— construction and transportation; • Tuesday, October 17, 2017— agriculture; • Tuesday, October 24, 2017— industry; • Tuesday, October 31, 2017— mining; • Tuesday, November 7, 2017— scientific organizations and academia; • Tuesday, November 14, 2017— stormwater, wastewater management and drinking water agencies; and • Tuesday, November 21, 2017—open to general public. The agencies are also planning an inperson meeting with small entities, which will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at the U.S. EPA’s Headquarters located at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20003. To facilitate the building security process, and to request reasonable accommodation, those who wish to attend must contact Joan B. Rogers (202–564–6568 or rogers.joanb@ epa.gov), no later than Friday, October 13, 2017. RSVPs will be accepted until October 13, or until room capacity has been reached (100 max), whichever occurs first. Dated: August 18, 2017. John Goodin, Acting Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Office of Water, Environmental Protection Agency. Dated: August 18, 2017. Douglas W. Lamont, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Project Planning and Review), performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. [FR Doc. 2017–18214 Filed 8–25–17; 8:45 am] asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 6560–50–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Aug 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R03–OAR–2017–0394; FRL–9966–95– Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Approval of an Alternative Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision incorporates by reference a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) order that establishes an alternative volatile organic compound (VOC) emission standard for National Gypsum Company (NGC) to ensure that it remains a minor VOC source. In the Final Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is approving Maryland’s SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. DATES: Comments must be received in writing by September 27, 2017. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R03– OAR–2017–0394 at http:// www.regulations.gov, or via email to stahl.cynthia@epa.gov. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 40743 online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/ commenting-epa-dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory A. Becoat, (215) 814–2036, or by email at becoat.gregory@epa.gov. For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this issue of the Federal Register publication. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: August 12, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III. [FR Doc. 2017–18085 Filed 8–25–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 165 (Monday, August 28, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40742-40743]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-18214]



[[Page 40742]]

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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

33 CFR Part 328

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 110, 112, 116, 117, 122, 232, 300, 302, and 401

[EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480; FRL-9966-99-OW]


Definition of ``Waters of the United States''--Schedule of Public 
Meetings

AGENCY: Department of the Army; and Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA).

ACTION: Announcement of public meeting dates.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. 
Department of the Army (the agencies) will hold ten teleconferences to 
hear from stakeholders their recommendations to revise the definition 
of ``Waters of the United States'' under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 
Nine of the teleconferences will be tailored to a specific sector, 
i.e., agriculture (row crop, livestock, silviculture); conservation 
(hunters and anglers); small entities (small businesses, small 
organizations, small jurisdictions); construction and transportation; 
environment and public advocacy (including health and environmental 
justice); mining; industry (energy, chemical, oil/gas); scientific 
organizations and academia; and stormwater, wastewater management, and 
drinking water agencies. One of the teleconferences will be open to the 
public at large. The teleconferences will run throughout the fall on 
Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. eastern time, beginning on September 
19, 2017. In addition, the agencies will hold an in-person meeting with 
small entities on October 23, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-11 a.m., and will 
accept written recommendations from any member of the public.

DATES: Written recommendation must be received on or before November 
28, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Submit your recommendations, identified by Docket ID No. 
EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480, at http://www.regulations.gov. This docket, 
established as a courtesy to the stakeholder community, will be 
included in the administrative record of the regulation revising the 
definition of ``Waters of the United States'' under the Clean Water Act 
(CWA). The agencies will not be formally responding to the 
recommendations. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
recommendations. Once submitted, your submission cannot be edited or 
removed from Regulations.gov. The agencies may publish any submission 
received to the public docket. Do not submit electronically any 
information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) 
or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Damaris Christensen, Office of 
Water (4504-T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2428; 
email address: CWAwotus@epa.gov; or Ms. Stacey Jensen, Regulatory 
Community of Practice (CECW-CO-R), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 441 G 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20314; telephone number: (202) 761-5903; 
email address: USACE_CWA_Rule@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 28, 2017, the President issued 
an Executive Order (E.O.) entitled ``Restoring the Rule of Law, 
Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ``Waters of the United 
States'' Rule''. This E.O. states that it is in the national interest 
to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from 
pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing 
regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the 
Congress and the States under the Constitution. The E.O. directs the 
agencies to review the Clean Water Rule for consistency with these 
priorities and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule 
rescinding or revising the rule, as appropriate and consistent with 
law. Further, the E.O. directs that the agencies shall consider 
interpreting the term ``navigable waters,'' as defined in 33 U.S.C. 
1362(7), in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin 
Scalia in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006). Justice 
Scalia's opinion considers CWA jurisdiction as including relatively 
permanent waters and wetlands with a continuous surface connection to 
relatively permanent waters.
    The agencies are implementing the E.O. in two steps to provide as 
much certainty as possible as quickly as possible to the regulated 
community and the public during the development of the ultimate 
replacement rule. For the first step, the agencies proposed on July 27, 
2017, a rule to re-codify the regulation that was in place prior to 
issuance of the Clean Water Rule and that is being implemented now 
under the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit's stay of that 
rule.\1\ The comment period for this first step proposed rule is open 
until September 27, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Clean Water Rule was promulgated on June 29, 2015 (80 FR 
37054). It was in effect in most of the country for a two-month 
period before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nation-
wide stay. The agencies are currently implementing the previous 
regulatory definition of ``waters of the United States'' in light of 
the stay.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the second step, the agencies plan to propose a new definition 
that would replace the approach in the 2015 Clean Water Rule with one 
that is consistent with the approach outlined in the E.O. In June 2017, 
the agencies completed consultation processes with tribes as well as 
state and local governments on the step 2 rulemaking. The meetings 
described below will provide other interested stakeholders opportunity 
to provide pre-proposal feedback on this second step rule to revise the 
definition of ``waters of the U.S.''
    Both EPA and the Corps are aware that the scope of CWA jurisdiction 
is of intense interest to a broad array of stakeholders and therefore 
want to provide time for broad pre-proposal input. The teleconferences 
in this notice are intended to solicit recommendations for Step 2 and 
potential approaches to defining ``waters of the United States.'' 
During the upcoming teleconferences, EPA will provide brief background 
information on the step 2 rulemaking, and progress to date. 
Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input, particularly 
with regard to the charge in the E.O. and opinion of Justice Scalia.
    The teleconferences will be held on a weekly basis beginning 
September 19 and will continue each Tuesday thereafter for ten weeks. 
Each will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. eastern time. Information on 
how to register for each of these meetings is available on the EPA Web 
site at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/outreach-meetings. Registration 
for each webinar will close a week prior. Persons or organizations 
wishing to provide verbal recommendations during the teleconference 
will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the 
expected volume of participants, individuals will be asked to limit 
their oral presentation to three minutes.
    Supporting materials and comments from those who did not have an 
opportunity to speak can be submitted to the docket as discussed above. 
The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows:
     Tuesday, September 19, 2017--small entities (small 
businesses, small

[[Page 40743]]

organizations and small governmental jurisdictions);
     Tuesday, September 26, 2017--environment and public 
advocacy;
     Tuesday, October 3, 2017--conservation, e.g., hunters and 
anglers;
     Tuesday, October 10, 2017--construction and 
transportation;
     Tuesday, October 17, 2017--agriculture;
     Tuesday, October 24, 2017--industry;
     Tuesday, October 31, 2017-- mining;
     Tuesday, November 7, 2017--scientific organizations and 
academia;
     Tuesday, November 14, 2017--stormwater, wastewater 
management and drinking water agencies; and
     Tuesday, November 21, 2017--open to general public.
    The agencies are also planning an in-person meeting with small 
entities, which will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 9:00 to 
11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at the U.S. EPA's Headquarters located at 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20003. To facilitate the 
building security process, and to request reasonable accommodation, 
those who wish to attend must contact Joan B. Rogers (202-564-6568 or 
rogers.joanb@epa.gov), no later than Friday, October 13, 2017. RSVPs 
will be accepted until October 13, or until room capacity has been 
reached (100 max), whichever occurs first.

    Dated: August 18, 2017.
John Goodin,
Acting Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Office of 
Water, Environmental Protection Agency.
    Dated: August 18, 2017.
Douglas W. Lamont,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Project Planning and Review), 
performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil 
Works.
[FR Doc. 2017-18214 Filed 8-25-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P