EPN Responds to Proposal for New “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Definition

On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army proposed a new definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The new definition would halt decades-long progress toward understanding how rivers, streams, wetlands and other water bodies interconnect to provide clean drinking water and clean water for industrial needs. The proposal’s implications are deep and significant, denying Clean Water Act (CWA) protection to many headwater streams and undercutting protection to some bodies of water still under statutory protection. Once polluted, rivers and lakes fall into a cycle of degradation. Once filled and built over, wetlands are gone forever. The decades of research and billions of dollars spent maintaining and protecting water quality are put in jeopardy with the new proposed WOTUS definition. In response, EPN has produced a white paper to explain exactly how this new definition threatens American waters.

Read a summary of the white paper: Summary of WOTUS Definition White Paper

Read the full white paper: WOTUS Definition White Paper

On February 28, 2019, EPN Board Member Mark Hague shared oral and written testimony critiquing the Trump Administration’s proposed new WOTUS definition in one of two public hearings held by EPA and the Army in Kansas City, Kansas.