Western Business Roundtable
We Need Your Help
to Push Back on EPA/Army Corps Effort to
Unilaterally Expand Regulatory Authority Under
It is crunch time
in the effort to push back on Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (Corps) attempts to unilaterally expand
their authority to regulate activities under the
Clean Water Act (CWA).
May 2, 2011, the Agencies published their "Guidance
Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the
Clean Water Act" (76 Fed. Reg. 24479, May 2,
2011), giving the public just 60 days to
comment on it. The comment deadline is set
for July 1, 2011.
It is clear that the Administration is intent on
moving forward unilaterally to reverse decisions by
the U.S. Supreme Court that set limits on the
federal government’s authority to regulate waters.
Such action is obviously legally suspect (only
Congress can change "definitions" contained in a
statute). It is also a gross process violation; not
only are EPA/the Corps moving forward unilaterally
on an issue that only Congress can legitimately
"fix," they are doing so without even going through
a normal notice-comment rule-making process.
Finally, this guidance will cause real problems on
the ground. The guidance would undermine the
federal-state CWA partnership that has long existed,
resulting in confusion and further delaying
Important to note: not only are EPA/the Corps
seeking to broaden the categories of "waters"
covered by regulation, they also apply the terms of
the guidance to all programs authorized under the
CWA (previous guidance documents applied only to the
Section 404 program). The new approach would
interpret the term “waters of the United States” to
also cover other major CWA programs, including: the
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
permit program, state water quality certification
process and water quality standards and total
maximum daily load programs.
For more details on the guidance and its impacts,
see the Issue Background section below.
need your help. Please assist by doing the
File comments on behalf of your organization.
Here is a set of model comments which might be
helpful in that regard. See
Please consider sending comments
as an individual. The Roundtable has put
together a grassroots campaign on the topic.
Take 60 seconds and send a communication.
Numbers matter! Access the grassroots campaign
you to pass the following link to the grassroots
campaign along to other colleagues and allies:
Thanks for your
ongoing support of policies to strengthen the
economy of the West.
Executive Director / General Counsel
Western Business Roundtable
The Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) -- of which the
Roundtable is a member -- has been analyzing the
implications of the proposed guidance. They are
EPA/Corps Guidance and related documents, see
analysis of the guidance, see