• More Time to Comment on Expansive EPA Clean Water Proposed Rules: Deadline Extended
  • July 25, 2014 | Author: Liza C. Moore
  • Law Firm: Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. - Lansing Office
  • In April 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule defining the “waters of the United States,” meaning the waters regulated by the government through the Clean Water Act (CWA). As has been widely reported in the farm media, many people have serious concerns with some of the definitions in the proposed rule, such as “tributary,” and the lack of definitions for other key terms, such as “upland,” that could expand the reach of the CWA. The initial deadline to submit comments on the proposed rule was July 21, 2014; the EPA extended the deadline to October 20, 2014. As of July 17, 2014, the regulations.gov website showed that 204,477 comments had been received.

    The EPA also published an interpretive rule about the agricultural exemptions from the CWA. The House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry held a public hearing on June 19, 2014 to review the interpretive rule regarding agricultural exemptions. Some senators and members of Congress have introduced bills aimed at curbing the EPA’s proposed rule.