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February 3, 2023

AE&E Office of Water Quality shared the Industrial Stormwater General Permit IGP) preliminary draft copy and fact sheet to AEF members. We have an opportunity to review and submit unofficial comments. All comments are due February 17, 2023. We have a short time to review and will have a meeting soon to discuss. Contact Ava for more information. 

The Formal 30-Day Draft Permit Public Comment Period will begin after EPA review. That comment period should begin in June. 

Renewal Draft for EPA Review

Renewal Fact Sheet for EPA Review



EPA issues testing order for hexafluoropropylene oxide

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday issued a notice directing 3M, Chemours and other companies to test hexafluoropropylene oxide for potential health hazards under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The companies have already submitted voluntary data on HFPO, which falls in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl class of substances. Read more here


EPA rolling out interactive PFAS database

The Environmental Protection Agency is launching PFAS Analytic Tools, an interactive database that will bring information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from several national databases into one centralized location that will be easy for the public to access. "Because the regulatory framework for PFAS chemicals is emerging, data users should pay close attention to the caveats found within the site so that the completeness of the data sets is fully understood," said the EPA. Visit this website for more information


Revising the Definition of "Waters of the United States"


Final Revised Definition of "Waters of the United States"

On December 30, 2022, the agencies announced the final "Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'" rule which will be effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The agencies developed this rule with consideration of the relevant provisions of the Clean Water Act and the statute as a whole, relevant Supreme Court case law, and the agencies’ technical expertise after more than 45 years of implementing the longstanding pre-2015 “waters of the United States” framework. This rule also considers the best available science and extensive public comment to establish a definition of “waters of the United States” that supports public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. 

Read more here


Rule 2 2023 Stakeholder Workgroup


  • The Rule 2 2023 Stakeholder Workgroup Meetings are ongoing. Stay tuned here for new announcements. 



Western and Ouachita Fanshell Proposed Threatened Species Listing and Critical Habitat Designation


The US Fish and Wildlife Service published in the Federal Register a notice proposing to list two freshwater mussel species as threatened, along with proposed critical habitat listings for both species and proposed 4(d) rules for both species.  Attached is a copy of this notice.  Comments on the proposed listings will be accepted through May 2. 

Both of these species are present in Arkansas, and there are extensive stretches of several rivers proposed to be designated as critical habitat in Arkansas, including a 53.5 mile stretch of the Ouachita River between Arkadelphia and Camden, a 32.7 mile stretch of the Ouachita River between Cherry Hill and just downstream of Pencil Bluff, and a significant 185.3 mile stretch of the Saline River from Benton to just north of its confluence with the Ouachita River in south Arkansas.  Various other river stretches are proposed to be designated as critical habitat as well.  Maps and descriptions of the proposed critical habitat designations are found in the attached FR notice.


EPA Proposed Rulemaking on Clean Water Act Hazardous Substance Worst Case Discharge Planning


On March 10, 2022, EPA Administrator Michael Regan signed a proposed rule to require certain facilities to develop facility response plans for a worst case discharge of Clean Water Act (CWA) hazardous substancesEXITEXIT EPA WEBSITE, or threat of such a discharge. A worst case discharge is the largest foreseeable discharge in adverse weather conditions, including those from climate change. 

The facility response plan requirements would apply to facilities that could reasonably be expected to cause substantial harm to the environment, based on their location. These include industrial facilities with a maximum onsite capacity of a CWA hazardous substance that meets or exceeds threshold quantities, located within a 0.5-mile radius of navigable water or conveyance to navigable water, and that meets one or more substantial harm criteria.

The proposed action considers increased risks of worst case discharges from climate change as well as impacts to communities with environmental justice concerns. The Agency is also soliciting comment on additional strategies to take these concerns into account.

EPA is taking public comment on the proposed rule until 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.govEXITEXIT EPA WEBSITE (Docket No.: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2021-0585).

  •  The Water Committee agreed to not file comments. 


AE&E/DEQ Office of Water Quality Proposed STAA Changes


On July 19, AEF members met with the Office of Water Quality to go over STAA changes they proposed. Please, review them here and let me know as soon as possible if you have any questions. They intend to make these changes effective no later than September.