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WRDA Input Opportunities

As we’ve shared in recent WPN Updates, Congress is working on the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the bill that authorizes projects and policy changes for the Corps of Engineers. We want to give you an update on current opportunities to weigh in on WRDA:
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has posted discussion drafts of its new WRDA and Drinking Water bills, along with section-by-section analyses, in this press release.
  • Read the one page summary of the draft legislation here.
  • Read the text of the draft WRDA, titled America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, here
  • Read the section-by-section of the draft WRDA here.
  • Read the text of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act here.
  • Read the section-by-section of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act here.
The Committee is accepting public comments/input on the discussion drafts until 4:00 PM ET on Friday, May 1. Written comments may be submitted to the Committee as a PDF emailed to, and should include a contact name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Click here for more information on the Committee’s process for submitting comments.
House of Representatives:
Members of the House of Representatives have until Friday, May 1 to submit their WRDA recommendations to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. If you have been talking with Members of the House and want to remind them of your priorities for the next WRDA, or if you have not yet reached out to them, now is a good opportunity to do so.

Final Dirty Water Rule Published

On April 21, the Trump administration published its final “Waters of the United States” rule in the Federal Register. The rule defines which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, eliminating protections for more than half of the nation’s wetlands and millions of miles of streams. Among other exclusions, the final rule would end protections for rain-dependent streams, most wetlands, certain ponds and lakes, and interstate waters. On April 28, WPN member Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit challenging the final rule on behalf of conservation groups including WPN members American Rivers, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Environment America, National Wildlife Federation, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.
The Clean Water for All Coalition has put together this toolkit, which includes general social media guidance, talking points, and press releases from Coalition members - including those from several WPN members: Clean Water ActionEarthjusticeEnvironmental Law and Policy CenterNRDCNational Wildlife FederationOhio Environmental CouncilSELC, and Sierra Club.

More attacks on clean water:
The Administration continues an all-out attack on the Clean Water Act, with proposals to weaken many parts of the law and its implementation. This includes a rule to restrict states' and tribes’ authority to protect local water quality under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which the EPA sent to the White House for review in early April. We expect the final rule to come out in May.

Pebble Mine Lawsuit Dismissed

On April 17, a federal court ruling dismissed a lawsuit against the proposed Pebble Mine - a toxic, open-pit mine that threatens Alaska's Bristol Bay - that many WPN members and partners staunchly oppose. The lawsuit had challenged EPA's withdrawal in 2019 of its proposed decision, under Clean Water Act Section 404(c), to protect Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine. The ruling found "EPA’s efforts to protect Bristol Bay under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act akin to enforcement actions, which are unreviewable, and that EPA’s decision to withdraw is an unchallengeable discretionary decision" (Alaska Native News). Plaintiffs would have 60 days to appeal this decision. Plaintiffs and many others will continue work to ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is enforced and that NEPA documents are properly prepared. The WPN will keep members informed of future developments and opportunities to fight Pebble Mine, such as during permitting processes and the public comment period for the anticipated Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Administration Pushes Destructive Yazoo Pumps Again

On April 16, the Corps of Engineers published a notice of intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project. This SEIS is for essentially the same project - fought for many years by many WPN members - that was vetoed in 2008. The veto by the George W. Bush Administration protected 200,000 acres of ecologically significant wetlands in the heart of the Mississippi River flyway. It is important to submit robust scoping comments before the June 15, 2020 comment deadline because the SEIS is now being pushed on an aggressive timeline.

How to Comment:

  • By email:
  • By mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, ATTN: CEMVK-PPMD, 4155 East Clay Street, Room 248, Vicksburg, MS 39183
  • By phone: Mr. Kenneth Parrish at 601-631-5006
  • Comment deadline: Monday, June 15, 2020
  • If your organization is interested in joining other groups in commenting please email Kelly McGinnis at

More information:

Take Action Against EPA's Secret Science Rule

At a time when the importance of sound science-based decision-making is painfully clear, the Trump administration has proposed a rule that would impose sweeping restrictions on the types of scientific studies that can inform the regulatory decision-making process. Instead of "strengthening transparency" as the proposal claims to do, it is instead designed to "keep highly respected and peer-reviewed scientific studies from informing government decisions on public health and environmental protection" (Bruce Stein, NWF).

America's Most Endangered Rivers® of 2020 Announced

In mid-April, WPN member American Rivers released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. This year’s report highlights ten rivers imminently threatened by climate change, poor floodplain and watershed management, wetland destruction, dams, mining, or natural gas development. The 2020 America’s Most Endangered Rivers® are:
  1. Upper Mississippi River, IL, IA, MN, MO, and WI
  2. Lower Missouri River, IA, KS, MO, and NE
  3. Big Sunflower River, MS
  4. Puyallup River, WA
  5. South Fork Salmon River, ID
  6. Menominee River, MI and WI
  7. Rapid Creek, SD
  8. Okefenokee Swamp & St. Marys River, FL and GA
  9. Ocklawaha River, FL
  10. Lower Youghiogheny River, PA
In addition to announcing the nation’s ten most endangered rivers, American Rivers honors the Delaware River as "River of the Year." The title highlights the success story of the Delaware River - once choked with sewage and industrial pollution and craved up by dams, but now on the mend and thriving.

Help urge decision makers to do the right thing for each of the rivers on the list: Click here to take action and share with your networks and membership.

Selected Resources & News

Click here to see the pandemic resources for people and nonprofits that were shared in the last WPN Update. If you would like to share news, resources, or something else in future WPN Updates, please email

Recent Public Notices

This is a non-comprehensive list of 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 of Engineers Notices

Other Agency Notices
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