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On Feb. 6, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a final rule adding an applicability date of Feb. 6, 2020 to the 2015 rule defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS).

As explained in the EPA and Corps’ press release, the agencies finalized the rule in order to provide the regulated community clarity and certainty about which definition of WOTUS is applicable nationwide. The action comes in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that the courts of appeals do not have original jurisdiction to review challenges to the 2015 rule, invalidating the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s 2015 nationwide stay of the WOTUS rule.

This rule adds an applicability date of two years to the 2015 rule and, as a result, leaves in place the current legal status quo nationwide while the agencies continue to reconsider and revise the definition of WOTUS through a two-step rulemaking process

Clean Power Plan Public Meetings

On Feb. 1, the EPA announced that it will hold three listening sessions to give the public the opportunity to provide feedback on its proposal to repeal the 2015 Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units final rule, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan.

The public listening sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in San Francisco
  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Gillette, Wyo.
For information on how to register, see instructions in the Federal Register notice. Additionally, the listening session schedules, including lists of speakers, will be posted on the EPA's website.

On Jan. 16, ABC submitted comments in support of the EPA’s proposal to repeal the 2015 final rule.