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Glossy and white ibis, Everglades National Park. Source: National Park Service.

Table of Contents

National Environmental Policy Act Update

In the fall, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its Phase 1 proposed rule as the first step in a two-phase rulemaking process to reverse drastic National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rollbacks adopted by the Trump Administration and to improve NEPA implementation. CEQ is expected to issue the final Phase 1 NEPA rule soon, followed by a proposed Phase 2 NEPA rule expected around June. NEPA is the foundational law for ensuring that people have a voice in federal decision-making, guiding the environmental impact review process for major federal activities that impact the environment, public health, and livelihoods around the country. 

Thank you to the 232 organizations that joined the letter to CEQ on the Phase 1 NEPA rulemaking back in November! The Phase 1 proposed rule addressed a few important issues but there is still much that needs to be done. Many WPN members have urged CEQ to use the Phase 2 rulemaking to fully restore the 1978 NEPA regulations and then build on those regulations to advance environmental, ensure effective evaluation of alternatives and impacts including climate change impacts, increase transparency, and improve public engagement. While CEQ is not planning to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for the Phase 2 rule, it has requested input on what should be included in the Phase 2 NEPA rule. Several WPN members recently submitted such recommendations to CEQ. Please stay tuned for the opportunity to join a large sign-on letter to CEQ emphasizing some of these key priorities for CEQ's Phase 2 NEPA rule.

Learn more:

Water Resources Development Act Update

Congress is currently working on the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the bill that authorizes projects and policy changes for the Corps of Engineers, affecting water resources planning and projects nationwide. US Representatives recently submitted their WRDA 2022 proposals to the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, and Senators submitted their proposals earlier in the year to the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee.

Thank you to the 112 organizations that joined the group letter earlier this year urging Congress to adopt a number of WRDA reforms that would give the Corps the tools needed to improve community and ecosystem resilience! We understand that a number of the WPN priority reforms were included in WRDA 2022 proposals submitted to the House T&I Committee by members. The T&I Committee will hold a hearing on March 16 to hear directly from members about their WRDA proposals.

Learn more:

Corps Civil Works Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act Work Plan Released

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was passed into law in November 2021. The law includes $1.2 trillion to invest in infrastructure work and jobs, including authorizing $35 billion in water infrastructure investments over five years and investments to mitigate climate change impacts, supplemented by over $62 billion in additional appropriations to augment critical infrastructure programs and address public health threats. Earlier this year, the White House released a guidebook to the IIJA and the Corps of Engineers released the Civil Works work plans for IIJA funding.

Learn more:

Waters of the US Roundtables Update

In late February, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers announced their selection of 10 regional stakeholder roundtables to discuss the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition, which determines which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act. This is part of the EPA and Corps' ongoing multi-step WOTUS rulemaking process.

These are the selected roundtables, listed by geographic region and the nominating organization, with links to the roundtable nomination letters submitted by partners at the Clean Water for All Coalition:

Learn more:

Recent Corps Webinars

The Corps of Engineers Headquarters recently held two nationwide stakeholder webinars. The first webinar focused on Corps Civil Works plans related to Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act and Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 funding, while the second webinar focused on four Corps authorities and programs - the Continuing Authorities Program, Floodplain Management Services, Planning Assistance to States, and Environmental Infrastructure Assistance.

Learn more:

Mississippi River Restoration & Resilience Initiative Act Update

The list of supporters - including many WPN members - continues to grow for the Mississippi River Restoration & Resilience Initiative Act (MRRRI Act, H.R. 4202). The MRRRI Act would create a dedicated, federal geographic program to protect and restore the ecological health of the Mississippi River by investing in activities and projects to improve water quality, build community resilience and reduce flood and storm risks with natural infrastructure, protect and restore riverine wildlife habitat, and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. The MRRRI Act would also prioritize investments in communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities that experience the disproportionate impacts of ecological degradation.

If you have not yet, please consider joining the 90+ organizations endorsing MRRRI by completing this form.

Learn more:

Welcome New WPN Member,
Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC)!

Please join us in welcoming the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) as a new member of the Water Protection Network! Here's a note from EPIC:

EPIC builds policies that deliver spectacular improvement in the speed and scale of environmental progress. A nonprofit start-up, EPIC is committed to finding and highlighting the best approaches to scaling up results quickly. EPIC focuses on clean water, endangered species, environmental markets, and the use of data and technology in producing environmental and public health outcomes. Equity and justice are at the center of EPIC’s approach, as we work on policies related to the accessibility of safe, affordable water, the right to clean water, as well as eliminating disparities in funding and environmental services faced by underserved and under-resourced communities. EPIC is thrilled to join the Water Protection Network!

More News & Resources

WPN members, please email Ilana Rubin to share highlights, news, or resources for future WPN Updates.

Recent Public Notices

Below is a non-comprehensive list of recent Corps of Engineers public notices from the Federal Register and Corps district websites, and select notices from other federal agencies. Please visit, Corps division and district websites, and other federal agencies' websites for additional public notices. Click here for examples of comments and letters submitted to the Corps by WPN members.

Corps districts have also recently issued Special Public Notices about the 40 re-issued and 1 new Nationwide Permits and any related regional conditions. These can be found on district websites in their Public Notices lists.

Corps of Engineers Notices

Other Agency Notices
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