WASHINGTON (January 7, 2019)-- Due to the lapse in appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA and the Department of the Army (Army) announced today they will postpone the planned January 23 public hearing on the proposed new "Waters of the United States" definition until after appropriations have passed to fund the EPA. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is also postponed.

A notification of public hearing was issued in the Federal Register on December 28, 2018 to hold a hearing in Kansas City, Kansas. EPA and Army will notify the public of the revised date for the public hearing, the start of the public comment period, public webcast and other outreach activities after appropriations have passed. Information on the status of the public hearing will be posted on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/revised-definition-waters-united-states-proposed-rule.

Background: On December 11, 2018, EPA and Army signed a proposed rule that would provide a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act while respecting the role of states and tribes in managing their own land and water resources. The agencies have submitted the proposed rule to the Office of the Federal Register for publication. A pre-publication version publication version of the Federal Register notice is available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise.

EPA and Army will take comments on the proposal for 60 days after publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted online at https://www.regulations.gov or provided orally at the public hearing once rescheduled. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149. In addition, oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing will be considered with the same weight as written statements and supporting information submitted during the public comment period.