EPA Rules Open for Comment (short summaries)

The Trump Administration has launched a massive assault on our climate, our public health and our environment.
We think that’s a really bad idea.

We create tools and talking points for people who want to speak out in defense of our protections.  

Make Your Voice Heard

President Trump may be having trouble getting Congress to adopt his agenda, but he has more control over federal agencies.  The Trump Administration is taking dead aim at regulations that protect people’s lives, livelihoods and communities – including regulations that protect our public health and environment. Fortunately, no president can roll back regulations by fiat. The Trump Administration must go through the same process that’s used for making regulations, and that process gives everyone the opportunity to participate. 

We’ve developed a how-to manual with insights and advice on HOW to to participate in a rulemaking process. It is a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations who want to make their voices heard. You can download “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Deregulatory Agenda” by clicking here. You can also scroll down and use the yellow “download” button at the end of this page.

Lower on this page, we post a list of EPA rules now open for comment, with links to information about the rules and suggested talking points for commenters.</span>

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Rules Now Open For Comment

The Trump Administration has targeted many EPA regulations to be weakened or outright eliminated.  Also targeted are related rules of other agencies.  Save EPA is tracking these actions, and providing talking points to help commenters who want to resist the Trump agenda. As the people these regulations are designed to protect, we need to be loud and clear that these protections are important to us. We can’t afford to be silent while President Trump tries to take the U.S.A. backwards to a time of dirty air, polluted waters and contaminated land. 


Rollback of Clean Water Act Protections

The Trump Administration wants to remove Clean Water Act protections from two million miles of waterways and millions of acres of wetlands. Rollback of this rule would put drinking water at risk for 117 million Americans. 

The Clean Water Rule (“Waters of the U.S.” or WOTUS rule) was issued in 2015 to more clearly define which “waters” are protected under the Clean Water Act.  The Rule’s definition of protected waters is based on hydrologic science. It recognizes the real-world connections that exist between large volume, “navigable” waters and smaller non-navigable streams and wetlands.   The Clean Water Rule protects tributary streams that can greatly impact downstream water.

Part 1: Rollback of the Clean Water Rule

Comment Period Ended September 27, 2017

The proposal recently open for comment would eliminate the scientific definition of “waters of the U.S.” created in the 2015 Clean Water Rule and revert to an old, unclear definition. 

Part 2: Changing the Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”

Stakeholder Teleconferences and Meeting September 19 – November 21; Opportunity to Submit Pre-Proposal Written Comments

A second rule-making will be required to propose the Trump Administration’s preferred definition of “waters of the U.S.” 

The Trump Administration has posted a notice to begin the public process to re-define “Waters of the U.S.”  As expected, the Administration has signaled its intent to redefine “waters of the US” to include only navigable waters.

The process outlined by the Trump Administration for Part 2 is underway. The agencies have not proposed a rule and it’s not clear when they will do so. However, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have scheduled ten “outreach” teleconferences and one in-person meeting to gather public comments between September 19 and November 21.  Anyone can register to participate in the general public teleconference on November 14; you may have additional opportunities to participate if you are a member of a targeted category of stakeholders.  Register soon — spots are limited.  Also, EPA has set up a docket to accept written pre-proposal comments to be included in the administration record of the regulation to revise the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act.

For information on the Clean Water Rule, the rollback proposal, definitions of “waters of the U.S.” — and information on how to participate or comment, including talking points — see Defending Our Waters.

Weakening of Proposed Groundwater Contamination Limits for Uranium Mining

Comment by October 16

The Trump Administration is considering standards the Obama Administration proposed in January to prevent, monitor and remedy groundwater contamination from uranium extraction operations — standards weaker than originally proposed in 2015.  Radionuclide contamination of drinking water aquifers has been documented at a number of uranium mines in recent years.

For information on the two proposals and how to comment – including suggested talking points — see Defending Limits on Uranium Mining Contaminants in Groundwater.


Withdrawal of Clean Water Act Protections for Bristol Bay, Alaska (Pebble Mine) 

Comment by October 17

The Trump Administration wants to withdraw proposed restrictions on discharge of mining wastes in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, the largest sockeye salmon spawning area in the world.  

For information on the proposed restrictions, the proposed rollback, and how to comment, see Defending Bristol Bay.


Opposing Subsidies for Coal & Nuclear Power Plants:
DOE Proposed Rule for FERC Final Action on Wholesale Electricit
y Prices
Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule)

Comment by October 23, 2017

The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalize a rule that would subsidize generation of electricity by coal and nuclear power plants by paying them for the costs of all the electricity they generate regardless of whether the electricity is needed.  This would disadvantage electricity from natural gas and renewable resources.  DOE advocates this on grounds that coal and nuclear plants are important for grid reliability, a claim that cannot be supported.  The proposal would have an adverse effect on consumer electricity prices, the economy, and the environment.  Yet no analysis of these impacts is offered by DOE.

For information on the proposal and how to comment — including suggested talking points — see Opposing Subsidies for Coal and Nuclear Power Plants


Suspension of the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule    

Comment by November 6, 2017  

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a rule in November 2016 to reduce waste of natural gas from flaring, venting and leaks from oil and gas production on public and tribal lands.  The requirements are designed to limit waste of federal natural gas resources and avoid loss of royalty payments to federal, state and tribal governments for the sale of their resources.  The rule has the additional benefit of reducing air pollutant emissions that drive smog and climate change.  The rule replaces old and ineffective regulations that had not been updated in 35 years.

The BLM is proposing to delay implementation of almost every substantive provision of the Waste Prevention Rule for 18 months, until January 17, 2019.  During this period, the Trump Administration will consider how it will modify or pull back the rule.

For more information and suggested talking points go to Defending the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.   


One thought on “EPA Rules Open for Comment (short summaries)

  1. Holly Pollinger

    We are a new group in Washington D.C. of concerned residents who are looking to be effective here. We need guidance on what our primary action items should be. What are the 3 MOST EFFECTIVE ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE TO HELP? Thank you for your response. Holly Pollinger holpollinger@comcast.net Moderator for Cathedral Heights Combatting Climate Change.


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