Waters of the United States
In January 2020, the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers redefined the extent of protection for the nation’s freshwater resources. The Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies, a group of nine professional societies with a total of more than 20,000 member scientists, strongly criticized the new definition of the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS).” The redefinition is inconsistent with the best-available science. It removes protection for millions of stream miles and acres of wetlands that keep waters and watersheds healthy.
In April 2019, CASS was joined by other science societies in submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers on proposed changes to the definition of the Waters of the US.
In February 2019, CASS requested an extension of the comment period and more public meetings about the proposed rule “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States.”
In December 2018, CASS expressed concerned with the proposed rule issued by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule (Waters of the United States Rule or WOTUS). CASS urged the agencies to consider the far-reaching implications to our nation’s fish and aquatic resources, wildlife and communities from a narrower rule and call for any re-definition of ”Waters of the United States” to be informed by science.
In March of 2017, President Trump issued an executive order to overturn the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule approved by the Obama administration. In anticipation of this action, which was part of the President’s agenda, AFS has worked with its partners to prepare a letter to our leaders in support of the scientific basis of the rule. Read the article in Science magazine about the letter.
In November of 2015, CASS took a position to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 22 to the Clean Water Rule, which proposed to exclude headwater streams, including intermittent and or temporary streams that do not have perennial flow but that do directly drain to a Tradition Navigable Water, interstate waters or the sea.