Water Quality - Waters of the United States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a revised Waters of the United States rule that came into effect on June 22, 2020. The final rule substantially rolls back federal protections that were established in 2008, and even the protections established prior to that time. It’s estimated that almost 70% of our Colorado Waters could be impacted by this rule. Additionally, the change will impose significant burdens upon the State of Colorado. Colorado has relied on the federal government to protect these waters since Colorado does not have existing laws or regulations that allow state streams, lakes, and wetlands to be filled. 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado granted the state a stay on implementing changes to the federal Waters of the United States rule. The stay means that the federal government will need to continue to use the more environmentally protective rule for the time being in permitting.

Colorado Dredge and Fill Permit Program Stakeholder Group

The stay allows time for the department to continue to engage with stakeholders on potential options for a Colorado dredge and fill permit program, a program focused on continuing to protect waters in Colorado that were historically protected by the 2008 guidance but that will no longer have protection if the new rule goes into effect in Colorado.

Stakeholder Meetings

The division has scheduled the upcoming meetings. All stakeholder meetings for the year 2020 will be online. 

  • January 7, 2021 from 9:00 a.m to 10:30 a.m. (add meeting to your personal calendar)
  • February 4, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (add meeting to your personal calendar)

Online participation: 

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88991721085

Conference call:

Dial-in Number:
        +1 669 900 6833
        +1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 889 9172 1085

Previous stakeholder meetings

May 20, 2020 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
June 1, 2020 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
June 30, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
August 25, 2020 from 9 a.m to 10:30 a.m.
September 29, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
November 5, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


Stakeholder Meeting Materials

All available meeting materials are available on the department’s public google drive


Other Waters of the United States Resources

On April 15, 2019, the State of Colorado submitted the below comments on the draft proposed Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States,” 84 Fed. Reg. 4154 (Feb. 14, 2019).

  • Comment Letter
  • Appendix 1 - Biological Importance of Ephemeral and Intermittent Streams and Non-Adjacent Wetlands in Colorado
  • Appendix 2 - More Information Regarding the Science of Tributaries
Sign-up for email notifications

You can receive notifications about this stakeholder process by using this online form.