Save the Illinois River, Inc.
24369 E 757 Rd.
Tahlequah, OK 74464-1949
(918) 284-9440

Public Comment Open on New Clean Water Rule

Ed Brocksmith | Environment | August 03, 2017


The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are taking public comment on a proposed new rule on what are the Waters of the United States, WOTUS.

The agencies have established a  two-step process to resolve confusion over the definition of WOTUS.  First, the current rule of 2015 would be abolished as per the order of President Donald Trump.  Secondly, public comment would be sought on a new rule defining WOTUS.

The controversy over what constitutes Waters of the United States grew out of court decisions challenging provisions of the federal Clean Water Act passed in 1972.  The goal of the CWA is to protect the rivers and lakes of the U.S. making them fishable and swimmable. The confusion centers around the question of what are navigable waters?  The Illinois River is considered a navigable water.

Farm groups, developers, cities and states are among those who objected to the 2015 rule in question and ordered abolished by President Trump.  Environmental and conservation organizations are among those who object to abandoning the current 2015 rule.

To read more about this important matter, see the Federal Register text,

What is at stake for Oklahoma Scenic Rivers in this controversy?

STIR's mission is to protect and preserve the Illinois River, its tributaries and Tenkiller Lake.  STIR believes that these valuable resources would not be adequately protected and preserved by any federal action that ignores the direct connection of ground water and surface water that flow to the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller.  In other words, agricultural activities, construction and other projects adversely impacting ground water and/or surface water going to the Illinois River andTenkiller Lake must be prevented.


STIR urges you to defend Oklahoma Scenic Rivers and the Waters of the United States by following this issue closely and by making appropriate public comments by the deadline ending in August, 2017.  To make a public comment  address your concerns to:

RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203:

Submit your comments,
identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–
OW–2017–0203, at

Follow the online
instructions for submitting comments.