[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 248 (Friday, December 28, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67174-67175]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-28296]



Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

33 CFR Part 328


40 CFR Parts 110, 112, 116, 117, 122, 232, 300, 302, and 401

[EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149; FRL-9988-72-OW]
RIN 2040-AF75

Revised Definition of ``Waters of the United States''

AGENCIES: Department of the Army; and Environmental Protection Agency 

ACTION: Notice of public hearing.


SUMMARY: On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency and 
the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) signed a proposed rule 
revising the definition of ``waters of the United States'' to clarify 
the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The 
agencies are announcing that a public hearing will be held in Kansas 
City, Kansas on January 23, 2019, to provide interested parties the 
opportunity to present data, views, or information concerning the 
proposed rule. The pre-publication version of this proposal can be 
found at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise.

DATES: The agencies will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, January 
23, 2019, in Kansas City, Kansas. Please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for additional information on the public hearing.

ADDRESSES: The hearing will be held in the Wyandotte Ballroom of the 
Reardon Convention Center, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 
66101. The hearing will convene at 1:00 p.m. (local time) and will 
conclude no later than 8:00 p.m. There will be a break from 5:00 p.m. 
to 6:00 p.m.
    A complete set of documents related to the proposal will be 
available for public inspection through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: 
http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149 once the 
notice of proposed rulemaking publishes in the Federal Register. 
Documents can also be viewed at the Environmental Protection Agency 
Docket Center, located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 3334, 
Washington, DC between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
excluding legal holidays. In addition, the pre-publication version of 
the notice of proposed rule, the economic analysis for the proposed 
rule, and the resource and programmatic assessment for the proposed 
rule are available at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise.
    If you are unable to attend the public hearing you will be able to 
submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149, 
to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov (our 
preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for 
this rulemaking. Comments received may be posted without change to 
https://www.regulations.gov/, including any

[[Page 67175]]

personal information provided. For additional information on the public 
hearing, see the ``Public Participation'' heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Damaris Christensen, Office of 
Water (4504-T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2428; 
email address: [email protected]; or Ms. Cindy Barger, Office of 
the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, 441 G Street NW, 
Washington, DC 20014; telephone number: (202) 761-0038.


I. Background

    On December 11, 2018, the agencies signed a proposed rule defining 
the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act, in 
light of the U.S. Supreme Court cases in United States v. Riverside 
Bayview Homes, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United 
States, and Rapanos v. United States, and consistent with Executive 
Order 13778, signed on February 28, 2017, entitled ``Restoring the Rule 
of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the `Waters of the 
United States' Rule.'' The agencies are holding a public hearing in 
Kansas City, Kansas on January 23, 2019, to provide interested parties 
the opportunity to present data, views, or information concerning the 
proposed rule. The agencies have submitted the proposed rule to the 
Office of the Federal Register, and it will be published separately in 
the Federal Register. The comment period on the proposed action will 
end 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking publishes in the 
Federal Register. The pre-publication version of the proposed rule can 
be found at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and will be 
replaced with the official version of the notice after it publishes.

II. Public Participation

A. Participation in Public Hearing

    The public is invited to speak during the public hearing on January 
23, 2019. The agencies will begin pre-registering speakers for the 
hearing upon signature of this document. Those interested in speaking 
at the hearing can sign up for a three-minute speaking slot within an 
identified 45-minute timeframe. To register to speak at the hearing, 
please use the online registration form available at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/proposed-revised-definition-wotus-public-hearing. The last day to pre-register to speak at the hearing will be 
January 17, 2019. On January 22, 2019, the agencies will post a general 
agenda for the hearing that will list pre-registered speakers in 
approximate order at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/proposed-revised-definition-wotus-public-hearing.
    The agencies will make every effort to follow the schedule as 
closely as possible on the day of the hearing; however, please plan for 
the hearings to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule. 
Additionally, requests to speak will be taken the day of the hearing at 
the hearing registration desk. The agencies will make every effort to 
accommodate all speakers who arrive and register, although preferences 
on speaking times may not be available.
    Each commenter will have three minutes to provide oral testimony. 
The agencies encourage commenters to provide the agencies with a copy 
of their oral testimony electronically (via email) or in hard copy 
    The agencies may ask clarifying questions during the oral 
presentations but will not respond to the presentations at that time. 
Written statements and supporting information submitted during the 
comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments 
and supporting information presented at the public hearing. Written 
comments must be received by the last day of the comment period, as 
specified in the notice of proposed rulemaking. Verbatim transcripts of 
the hearing and written statements will be included in the docket for 
the rulemaking.
    Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing will 
be posted online at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/proposed-revised-definition-wotus-public-hearing. While the agencies expect the hearing 
to go forward as set forth above, please monitor our website for any 
updates. The agencies do not intend to publish a document in the 
Federal Register announcing updates.
    The agencies will not provide audiovisual equipment for 
presentations. Any media presentations should be submitted to the 
public docket at https://www.regulations.gov/, identified by Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149. If you require the service of a translator or 
special accommodations such as audio description, please pre-register 
for the hearing and describe your needs by January 17, 2019. We may not 
be able to arrange accommodations without advanced notice.

    Dated: December 20, 2018.
John T. Goodin,
Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Office of Water, 
Environmental Protection Agency.
    Dated: December 20, 2018.
Ryan A. Fisher,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), 
Department of the Army.
[FR Doc. 2018-28296 Filed 12-27-18; 8:45 am]