Waters of the United States and the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a revised Waters of the United States rule that came into effect on June 22, 2020 — the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. 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 25 to 50 percent 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 previously 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.

On March 2, 2021, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals order reversed the stay of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in Colorado. Now that the stay has been reversed, the department will continue to engage with stakeholders on potential options for a Colorado dredge and fill permit program.

Stakeholder information

Meeting information and resources

Meeting Information

The department will hold weekly meetings every Monday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. to continue discussing the proposed dredge and fill legislation.
 

Register for the weekly Monday stakeholder meetings.
 

Online participation 

Conference call

  • 346-248-7799 or
  • 669-900-6833


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

Engagement Overview

Now that the stay has been reversed, the department will 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 — waters that will no longer have protection now that the new rule goes into effect in Colorado. The division held multiple stakeholder meetings between 2020 to 2021.

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

Other WOTUS 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

Contact

Please send questions or comments to cdphe.commentswqcd@state.co.us