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Meridian Institute

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assumable Waters Subcommittee

Related: Environment and Natural Resources

In early 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began the process of forming a subcommittee, to be known as the Assumable Waters Subcommittee, under the National Advisory Committee on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). The EPA established NACEPT in 1988 to provide advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, management and technology issues.

The Assumable Waters Subcommittee will provide advice on one fairly narrow, but critical, aspect of implementing the Clean Water Act (CWA) permit program for the discharge of dredge and fill materials. This program (CWA section 404g) allows for states and tribes to assume administration of the dredge and fill permitting and enforcement program for certain waters. The subcommittee will be charged with providing clarity in determining on which waters the state/tribe has permit responsibilities, and on which waters the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retains responsibility. Subcommittee members, like the parent NACEPT committee, will include representatives from academia, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments.

In order to ensure as balanced and fair a process as possible, Meridian Institute was engaged as a third-party advisor to help convene the subcommittee. Specifically, Meridian assisted the EPA in conducting a series of conversations with potential subcommittee members and interested stakeholders. Meridian also provided process design and advice based on the outcomes of these conversations, discussions with EPA staff, and other relevant background information.

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