Water of the US: Update #4 and shutdown

Background: Allows for pesticide use and groundwater pollution is seasonal or low flow streams that support wildlife and flora.

“It is important that even dry streams and riverbeds be considered as “waters of the United States” because, as our recent drought has reminded us, seasonality can be within a year or within multiyear cycles,” wrote R. Brett Matzke, environmental director for the Cortina Rancheria Kletsel Dehe Band of Wintun Indians in Williams, California. “We must have the ability to protect drinking water and water that supports aquatic life whenever water returns to those areas.”

“An overarching goal of the Clean Water Act is the restoration and maintenance of chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters,” wrote Tracy Mehan, director of government affairs for the American Water Works Association, a water utility trade organization. “To limit the definition to a strict Scalia interpretation will likely make the achievement of this goal and the implementation of this policy difficult to nearly impossible.”

Re: WOTUS, No.4 and Shutdown toolkit

Sierra Club Actions

EPA announced its Waters of the United States replacement or “Dirty Water Rule”. The administration’s talking points indicate that the proposal would restrict which wetlands and waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act, such as excluding ephemeral streams and wetlands that are not “physically and meaningfully” connected to other jurisdictional waterways.

Here is link to an Add-Up petition opposing the change. Please circulate this petition if you can.


The following is provided by Jennifer Collins with Earth Justice.

·  Dirty Water Rule. On December 11, 2018, the Trump administration announced the “Dirty Water Rule” or its revised definition of “Waters of the US” that substantially limits the number of waterways receiving protection from the Clean Water Act. The rule is NOT yet posted in the federal register, so the 60 day comment period has not yet begun. A number of groups requested an extension of the comment period, although have not yet heard back. On December 28th, EPA and Army Corps announced that they would do one public hearing in Kansas City, KS on January 23rd and do an online webcast on January 10. Due to the partial government shutdown, the Kansas City hearing has been postponed and on its website, EPA states that if the government is still shut down on the 10th, the webcast will have to be postponed, as well.