The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army are publishing a final rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is the second step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of ``waters of the United States'' consistent with the Executive Order signed on February 28, 2017, ``Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the `Waters of the United States' Rule.'' Once effective, it replaces the rule published on October 22, 2019. This final rule implements the overall objective of the Clean Water Act to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation's waters by maintaining federal authority over those waters that Congress determined should be regulated by the Federal government under its Commerce Clause powers, while adhering to Congress' policy directive to preserve States' primary authority over land and water resources. This final definition increases the predictability and consistency of Clean Water Act programs by clarifying the scope of ``waters of the United States'' federally regulated under the Act.
Table Rock Lake Oversight Committee Meetings; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting; Cancellation
On February 6, 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) published an updated notice that announced the third meeting of the Table Rock Lake Oversight Committee, which was to take place on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. DoD is publishing this notice to announce that this federal advisory committee meeting has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns (the State of Missouri is under ``Stay at Home'' orders) and will be re- scheduled at a later date, along with meeting four.
Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resource Development Projects Administered by the Chief of Engineers
The Department of the Army, through the United States Army Corps of Engineers (``Corps''), is soliciting comments on its proposed revision of its regulation that governs the possession and transportation of firearms and other weapons at Corps water resources development projects (``projects''). This proposed revision would align the Corps regulation with the regulations of the other Federal land management agencies by removing the need for an individual to obtain written permission before possessing a weapon on Corps projects.
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Public Scoping Meeting for Dow Chemical Company's Harris Reservoir Expansion Project, Brazoria County, Texas (Department of the Army Permit SWG-2016-01027)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Galveston District, has received a permit application for a U.S. Department of the Army (DA) permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from Dow Chemical Company (Dow) (SWG-2016-01027) for the Harris Reservoir Expansion Project (proposed Project). The proposed Project site is located between the Brazos River and Oyster Creek approximately 8 miles northwest of the City of Angleton in Brazoria County, Texas. The primary federal involvement associated with the proposed action (proposed Project) is the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States (U.S.), and the construction of structures and/or work that may affect navigable waters. Federal authorizations for the Project would constitute a major federal action. Based on the potential impacts, both individually and cumulatively, the Corps intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to render a final decision on the permit applications. The Corps' decision will be to issue, issue with modification, or deny DA permits for the proposed action. The EIS will assess the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the proposed project, and is intended to be sufficient in scope to address federal, state, and local requirements; environmental and socioeconomic issues concerning the proposed action; and permit reviews.
[Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Public Scoping Meeting for the Port of Corpus Christi Channel Deepening Project, Nueces and Aransas Counties, Texas
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District (Corps), has received a permit application for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act from the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA) (SWG-2019-00067) for the deepening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC). The primary Federal involvement associated with the proposed action is the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, the construction of structures and/or work that may affect navigable waters, and ocean disposal of dredged material. Federal authorizations for the proposed project would constitute a ``major federal action.'' Based on the potential impacts, both individually and cumulatively, the Corps intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to render a final decision on the permit application. The Corps' decision will be to issue, issue with modification, or deny DA permits for the proposed action. The EIS will assess the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of the proposed project and is intended to be sufficient in scope to address Federal, State and local requirements, environmental and socioeconomic issues concerning the proposed action, and permit reviews.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the Sacramento Weir Component (Yolo County, California) of the American River Watershed Common Features Project, as Authorized Under the Water Resources Development Act of 2016
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Sacramento District, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board is preparing a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft Supplemental EIS/EIR) for the Sacramento Weir widening component of the American River Watershed Common Features (ARCF) Levee Improvement Project authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 2016. This Draft Supplemental EIS/EIR supplements the ARCF General Reevaluation Report (GRR) Final EIS/EIR. The Proposed Action includes constructing a 1,500-foot-long passive weir, with associated levee, roadway, rail bridge, and fish passage improvements adjacent to the existing Sacramento Weir at the junction of the Sacramento River and Sacramento Bypass. Conceptual components of the Proposed Action were analyzed in the ARCF GRR Final EIS/EIR but some elements of the Proposed Action (passive weir design and fish passage structure) were not analyzed in the ARCF GRR Final EIS/EIR because final designs are still in progress. USACE has now developed two alternative project designs in sufficient detail to analyze their environmental effects: A passive weir structure with a crest elevation at 26 feet on the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) (the Proposed Action), and a passive weir structure with a crest elevation at 26 feet NAVD88, with stop logs to raise the crest elevation to 29.8 feet NAVD88 (the Higher Weir Elevation Alternative). Both design alternatives would reduce the flood risk in and around the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento by conveying additional Sacramento River flow during flood events into the Sacramento and Yolo Bypasses.