Environmental Consulting & Engineering Services - from Concept to Reality


ESS Regulatory News

June 2014

EPA's Public Comment Period for "Waters of the U.S." Extended to 10/20

Benthic-sampling copy

On April 21, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a new proposed rule that amends the definition of "waters of the U.S." to increase Clean Water Act transparency and predictability.

The proposed rule expands federal jurisdiction to the following bodies of water: 

  • All waters used, or previously used, in interstate or foreign commerce
  • The territorial seas
  • All impoundments of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas or a tributary
  • All tributaries of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas or impoundment
  • All waters, including wetlands, adjacent to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas, impoundment or tributary
  • On a case-by-case basis, other waters, including wetlands, provided that those waters alone, or in combination with other similarly situated waters, including wetlands located in the same region, have a significant nexus to a traditional navigable water

 The public comment period for the proposed rule has now been extended to October 20, 2014.

BOEM Announces Leasing of Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Energy Area off Massachusetts

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced on June 18, 2014 that more than 742,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts will be available for commercial wind energy leasing, making this the largest offshore wind energy lease area in the nation.

The proposed Wind Energy Area, which is set to be released as four separate leases, is located approximately 12 miles offshore from the northern boundary of Massachusetts and covers an area 33 miles long and 47 miles wide.

BOEM has previously awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast, including the Cape Wind Project in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts. BOEM is expected to hold additional auctions for Wind Energy Areas offshore Maryland and New Jersey later this year.

Comments on the proposed lease area, as well as applications to participate in the auction, are due on August 18, 2014. Public comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov under Docket No. BOEM-2014-0034.



About ESS Group, Inc.
ESS Group, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting and engineering firm with offices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Our team is comprised of scientists, engineers, and environmental specialists who provide full life-cycle engineering and consulting services. For more information, contact us at   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or subscribe to receive ESS News and Regulatory Updates via email.