Dear Mr. McDavit and Ms. Moyer:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce submits these comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) (collectively, “the Agencies”) in support of the Agencies’ proposal to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “Act”).
1. The definition of WOTUS is critical to the Chamber and its membership, as many of the Chamber’s members engage in activities subject to the CWA’s extensive permitting requirements. The Chamber and its members are committed to the protection and restoration of America’s wetlands and waters and have been actively engaged in WOTUS rulemaking efforts.
2. The Agencies’ proposed revisions to the definition of WOTUS will provide stakeholders with much-needed regulatory certainty and accurately articulate the jurisdictional limits that Congress, as clarified by the Supreme Court, envisioned under the Act. Moreover, the proposed revisions provide stakeholders with the “bright lines” needed to identify jurisdictional waters, give meaning to the term “navigable,” and preserve the states’ authority over land and water use. The proposed revisions, once finalized, will empower citizens and businesses that represent our nation’s communities to continue to protect their own water resources without the need to hire water and other subject matter experts to tell them how the CWA works.