United States                   Office of Solid Waste                         530-F-08-017
              Environmental Protection        and Emergency Response                    November 2008
              Agency                                                     www.epa.gov/emergencies
Sp/7/ Prevention, Control,  and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule Amendment

Revisions to the Regulatory Definition of "Navigable Waters"

On November 26, 2008, EPA promulgated a final rule to amend a Clean Water Act (CWA) section 311
regulation that defines the term "navigable waters" (73 FR 71941).  In this action, EPA announced the
vacaturof the July 17, 2002, revisions to the definition of "navigable waters" in accordance with an order,
issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (D.D.C.) in American Petroleum
Institute v.  Johnson, 571 F.Supp.2d  165 (D.D.C. 2008), invalidating those revisions. The court decision
also restored the regulatory definition of "navigable waters" promulgated by EPA in 1973;  consequently,
EPA is amending the definition of "navigable waters" in part 112 to comply with that decision. This final
rule does not amend the definition of "navigable waters" in any other regulation that has been promulgated
by EPA.

In the order, the Court vacated and remanded the 2002 amendments to the Spill Prevention Control and
Countermeasure (SPCC) regulatory definition of the term "navigable waters" on procedural grounds under
the Administrative Procedure Act. The court restored the previous definition of "navigable waters"
included in the 1973 SPCC Rule pending further rulemaking  or other appropriate agency action. The
Agency is studying the opinion and may provide additional guidance on the definition of "navigable
waters." The 1973 regulatory definition of "navigable waters" for the SPCC rule was published in the
Federal Register on December 11, 1973 (see 38 FR 34165)  and reads as follows:

The term "navigable waters" of the United States means "navigable waters" as defined in section 502(7) of
the FWPCA, and includes:
(1) all navigable waters of the  United States, as defined in judicial decisions prior to the passage of the
1972 Amendments of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, (FWPCA) (Pub. L. 92-500) also known as
the Clean Water Act (CWA), and tributaries of such waters as;
(2) interstate waters;
(3) intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams which are utilized by interstate travelers for recreational or other
purposes; and
(4) intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams from which fish or shellfish are taken and sold in interstate
                                  For More Information

 Visit the EPA Office of Emergency Management Web site:

 Review the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation (40 CFR part 112):

 Call the Super-fund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP, and Oil Information Center:
 (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810
 TDD (800) 553-7672 or (703) 412-3323

                              To Report an Oil or Chemical Spill

 Call the National Response Center:
 (800) 424-8802 or (202) 267-2675
 TDD (202) 267-4477
Office of Emergency Management