23 January 2023 – Federal Agencies Solicit Comments on Draft Changes to 2022 National Wetland Plant List

HQUSACE Regulatory
Published Jan. 23, 2023

On 20 January 2023, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced the availability of the draft changes to the 2022 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) and its web address to solicit public comments.  The public now has the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to wetland indicator status ratings for two plant species in the Arid West region.  The Federal Register Notice (FRN) for the 2022 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/01/20/2023-01026/national-wetland-plant-list. The public comment period ends on 21 March 2023. The two species and their draft 2022 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FRN, can also be viewed at the NWPL homepage, https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil, under “2022 NWPL Update Information.”  A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration. USACE is also seeking comments regarding the NWPL update process and a proposed change to update the NWPL every three years, rather than the present every two years. USACE administers the NWPL for the United States and its territories. The NWPL provides plant species indicator status ratings, which are used in determining whether the hydrophytic vegetation factor is met when conducting wetland delineations under the Clean Water Act and wetland determinations under the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the NWPL include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. Additions or deletions to the NWPL represent new records, range extensions, nomenclatural and taxonomic changes, and newly proposed species. The latest review process began in 2022 and included review by Regional Panels and the National Panel.