On August 14, 2023 (88 FR 55276), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (FR) to request comments on the EPA’s first comprehensive revision to the regulations governing Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 Tribal and State programs since 1988. The primary purpose of the proposed revision is to respond to longstanding requests from Tribes and States to clarify the requirements and processes for assumption and administration of a CWA section 404 permitting program for discharges of dredged and fill material. The proposed revisions would facilitate Tribal and State assumption of the section 404 program, consistent with the policy of the CWA as described in section 101(b), by making the procedures and substantive requirements for assumption transparent and straightforward. It clarifies the minimum requirements for Tribal and State programs while allowing for flexibility in how these requirements are met. In addition, the proposed rule clarifies the criminal negligence standard for both the CWA section 402 and section 404 programs. Finally, the proposed rule makes technical revisions to remove outdated references associated with the section 404 Tribal and State program regulations. Comments must be received on or before October 13, 2023.
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