[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 26 (Thursday, February 7, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 2483-2484]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-01483]



Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

33 CFR Part 328


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

RIN 2040-AF75

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

AGENCY: Department of the Army; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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 February 27 and 28, 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, February 
27 and Thursday, February 28, 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 Wednesday session will convene at 4:00 p.m. (local time) and 
will conclude no later than 8:00 p.m. and the Thursday session will 
convene at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude no later than 12:00 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 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: WOTUS-outreach@epa.gov; 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 February 27 and

[[Page 2484]]

28, 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 
February 27 and 28, 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 February 21, 2019. On February 26, 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. A sign language interpreter will be available 
for the hearing. If you require the service of a translator or other 
special accommodations such as audio description, please pre-register 
for the hearing and describe your needs by February 20, 2019. We may 
not be able to arrange accommodations without advanced notice.

    Dated: January 31, 2019.
John T. Goodin,
Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Office of Water, 
Environmental Protection Agency.
    Dated: February 1, 2019.
Ryan A. Fisher,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), 
Department of the Army.
[FR Doc. 2019-01483 Filed 2-6-19; 8:45 am]