Register for the 2019 Membership Meeting: Defending Our Waters!
Registration is now open for the Water Protection Network's 2019 Membership Meeting! Join us in Washington, DC with your fellow WPN members and keynote speaker, The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Former Assistant Secretary of the Army - Civil Works (speaker bio).
Defending Our Waters
Working Together to Protect & Restore Our Rivers, Coasts & Wetlands
October 29 & 30, 2019
1640 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Click here to learn more and register.
Major Administrative Attacks on Water
Despite the public’s overwhelming support for clean water and healthy rivers and wetlands, the Trump Administration is engaged in an all-out attack on the nation’s waters and the bedrock safeguards in place to protect them. Recent attacks include:
- On August 8, EPA announced a proposed rule that would limit state and tribal authority to protect their waters. The rule will be open for public comment for only 60 days once it’s published in the Federal Register. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act authorizes states and tribes to review the impacts of federally-licensed projects or stop unacceptable projects. The EPA’s proposed rule would undermine this authority by limiting the reasons states and tribes can reject or place conditions on projects that could pose harm to local water quality and shortening the time for states and tribes to act or request additional information on a project. The Clean Water for All Coalition has put together a messaging toolkit on this rule-making. You can view more details and sign up here for public hearings in Salt Lake City or Tribal & State Listening Sessions in September before the public comment period closes.
- The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are in the process of finalizing the “Dirty Water Rule,” their proposed replacement Waters of the US rulemaking. This is the most significant attempt to weaken Clean Water Act protections for wetlands and streams in history. It would remove Clean Water Act protections for more than half of our nation’s wetlands and threaten protections for up to 70% of our nation’s stream miles.
- The EPA is considering narrowing the types of water pollution that require federal pollution permits, particularly in cases when pollution goes through groundwater before entering waters regulated under the Clean Water Act. In April, the EPA issued an “Interpretive Statement” indicating the agency will no longer require permits for polluters that discharge to surface waters through groundwater.
- The Administration is writing new regulations that could restrict EPA’s long-standing authority to stop projects that would cause the most egregious harm to the nation’s waters. EPA has used this Clean Water Act 404(c) authority to stop just 13 activities out of more than two million Section 404 activities in the history of the Clean Water Act, but this limited use has saved more than 200,000 acres of wetlands and 36 miles of rivers and streams in 11 states. More than 100 WPN members were among 310 groups opposing these proposed illegal restrictions.
- The Army Corps has written new guidance, which has not been made available to the public for input, restricting states’ time to review, approve, or block Clean Water Act Section 404 permits to dredge or fill wetlands and streams.
Corps Public Notices from the Last 30 Days
The listings below are Corps of Engineers public notices from the Federal Register and Corps district websites. Please see past WPN Updates for notices published prior to one month ago and visit FederalRegister.gov, Corps division and district websites, and other federal agencies' websites for complete listings of public notices.
Corps of Engineers
- Published 8/15/2019: Notice of Preparation of Metro Gold Line Phase 2B Environmental Assessment, CA (Comment deadline August 29)
- Published 8/14/2019: Comment period extension for Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) 2008 draft Environmental Assessment and FONSI, FL (Comment deadline September 5)
- Published 8/14/2019: Bayfront Canal and Atherton Channel Flood Management & Restoration Project, CA (Comment deadline September 16)
- Published 8/14/2019: Public Notice of Benbrook Lake Master Plan Study Initiation, TX (Comment deadline September 20; Public meeting August 21)
- Published 8/13/2019: Mendota Pool Bypass & Reach 2B, Madera and Fresno Counties, CA (Comment deadline September 11)
- Published 8/12/2019: Corps seeks public input for Little Goose Master Plan Revision; Public scoping meetings scheduled for Dayton, TriCities, WA (Comment deadline September 13; public scoping meetings August 20 and 21)
- Published 8/12/2019: Corps seeks public input for Lower Monumental Master Plan Revision; Public scoping meetings scheduled for Dayton, TriCities, WA (Comment deadline September 13; public scoping meetings August 20 and 21)
- Published 8/9/2019: Intent To Prepare a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report-Environmental Impact Statement for the Memphis Metropolitan Stormwater Management Project: North DeSoto County, Mississippi Feasibility Study (Public scoping meeting August 29; Comment deadline October 15)
- Published 8/9/2019: Port Everglades Navigation Project draft Environmental Assessment and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact, Broward County, FL (Comment deadline September 9)
- Published 8/6/2019: Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) related to proposed changes to the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS) 2008, Florida (Comment deadline August 21)
- Published 8/5/2019: Termination of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Potential Multipurpose Projects for Ecosystem Restoration, Flood Risk Management, and Recreation Development Within and Along Johnson Creek, Arlington, Tarrant County, Texas
- Published 8/2/2019: East Lake Tohopekaliga Drawdown and Habitat Enhancement (East Lake Toho) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), Florida (Comment deadline September 3)
- Published 8/2/2019: Corps announces Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) project team meetings and public workshops, Florida (Meetings on September 16 and 17)
- Published 7/31/2019: River Road Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study Public Scoping Period, San Antonio, TX (Comment deadline September 12)
- Published 7/30/2019: Pre-proposals for Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game In-Lieu Fee Program for aquatic resource restoration (Pre-proposal deadline August 30)
- Published from the Engineering With Nature Initiative: Call for Projects for Engineering With Nature: An Atlas – Volume 2
- Published 7/23/2019: Department of the Navy in Bath seeks Corps permit to dredge portions of Kennebec River federal channel, Maine (Comment deadline August 22)
- Published 7/22/2019: Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Improvements to the US 70 Corridor, North Carolina (Comment deadline September 6)
- Published 7/18/2019: Intent To Prepare a Draft NEPA Document for the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Disposition Study, Hennepin County, Minnesota (Comment deadline October 20)
- Published 7/18/2019: Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, Florida (Comment deadline August 23)
- Published 7/18/2019: Collier County Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Feasibility Study, Florida (Comment deadline August 23)