The boundaries of a body of water such as a lake, stream, or river are clearly defined.

Or are they?

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, two controlling parties with a vested interest in protecting our environment, are holding discussions of what are and what are not designated as “Waters of the U.S.”

The definition comes into play mainly around required permitting investigations and development plans, as well as research and documentation, needed for approvals.

Stakeholders on this topic have been divided into interest groups and anyone can register to share their opinion. Eleven sessions are being held throughout September and October across the country to review the definition.

This is a result of the February 28 Presidential Executive Order aimed at ensuring the country’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution while also promoting economic growth and minimizing regulatory uncertainty.

All feedback will be collected and used to help inform a revised definition under the Clean Water Act.

A discussion session is held weekly every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. EST.

Session groups are as follows:

  • Sept. 19: Small entities (small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions)
  • Sept. 26: Environment and public advocacy
  • Oct. 3: Conservation (hunters and anglers)
  • Oct. 10: Construction and transportation
  • Oct. 17: Agriculture
  • Oct. 24: Industry
  • Oct. 31: Mining
  • Nov. 7: Scientific organizations and academia
  • Nov. 14: Stormwater, wastewater management, and drinking water agencies
  • Nov. 21: General public

Written recommendations are also welcome, noted for the non-regulatory docket: Docket ID No EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480, and submitted here:

Finding a balance between ongoing growth and development while protecting our valuable resources is key. RETTEW provides regulatory expertise throughout the Northeast, as well as well-known experts in many earth-related sciences.