As you may be aware, Monday, June 19, 2017 was the deadline for state and local government to submit substantive comments to EPA regarding each county’s stand on the definition of “navigable waters” pertaining to the Waters of the U.S. rule and Clean Water Act. Because it appears that neither EPA nor NACo notified state and local governments of this deadline, Secure Arkansas asked EPA for at least a 30-day extension. EPA staff told us by voice conversation that it would be okay to send the comments in beyond the June 19, 2017 deadline. All comments need to be submitted as soon as possible this week — by June 24, 2017.
If you are a JP and you haven’t yet submitted your comment, you may use this form to submit your comment to the EPA individually if your quorum court refuses to act collectively.
And it’s still not too late for your county quorum court to get the water rights resolution on the agenda (even if by special meeting), vote on it, and pass it — if it has not done so yet. Your input is needed.
Here is the email that Secure Arkansas sent to EPA and the response we received:
From: Secure Arkansas
Date: June 18, 2017
There are several counties in Arkansas and around the country that just recently found out about the comment period requested by the EPA concerning President Trump EO 13778 on the WOTUS. This June 19, 2017 deadline does not allow sufficient time for the local and state government to comment.
Will you please consider extending the comment period beyond June 19, 2017 for a least 30 days so that local government has a chance to provide comment regarding Presidential Executive Order #13778 pertaining to correcting the definition of “navigable waters”?
To Secure Arkansas
Date: Mon, Jun, 19, 2017
Subject: RE:Comments on the WOTUS EO 13778 of President Trump
While we are not planning to formally extend the comment period at this time, we encourage you to submit their comments as soon as possible. EPA will look for other opportunities to engage with state and local governments prior to the proposal of the step 2 rule. In addition, we invite you to submit your comments during the public comment for both steps of the rulemaking.
[yellow highlight added by Secure Arkansas for emphasis]
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Securing the blessings of liberty,