Press Releases

Over 160 Representatives and 36 Senators Urge EPA to Extend Comment Period for Proposed WOTUS Rule

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Washington, February 13, 2019 | comments

Today, the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Tom Carper (D-DE), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and co-chair of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus Don Beyer (D-VA), led two letters sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging an extension of the comment period for the proposed rule to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule (WOTUS). Over 160 Representatives signed the House letter, while 36 Senators signed the Senate letter.

"Americans depend on clean water for their health and livelihoods. Today, more than 117 million Americans - in both large cities and small and rural towns - obtain their drinking water from the same streams and waterbodies made more vulnerable to pollution under the Trump administration's proposed rule. Yet, despite this impact, the administration proposes only a 60-day comment period on this proposed rule. We believe this period is far too short to allow the countless Americans directly impacted by this endeavor to understand fully its magnitude and to make their voices heard on the proposal, if they so choose," wrote the House Members.

"Virtually every industry relies on clean water, and these interests-along with all Americans-want to know which waters are covered by federal law and regulation. Given that your agencies have opted to affect the interests of these constituencies, every effort should be made to provide sufficient time for comment," wrote the Senators.

The Members request that the Administration extend the comment period for the WOTUS replacement to the existing Clean Water Rule to at least the same duration as offered by the Obama administration in establishing that Rule - 207 days (April 21-November 14, 2014). That public comment period, first established for 90 days and extended twice in response to extension requests, yielded more than a million comments from concerned individuals and families.

To read the full letter from the House Members, click here.

To read the full letter from Ranking Member Carper, click here.

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