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Agricultural News

EPA Quietly Extends WOTUS Comment Period Past Election Day

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:43:36 CDT

EPA Quietly Extends WOTUS Comment Period Past Election Day

Landowners will have more time to comment on the proposed 'Waters of the US' federal rule. The proposed rule was an attempted by Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers to provide more clarity over the term navigable waters. On Monday the EPA extended the comment period from October 20th to November 14, 2014.

The government agency previously extended the comment period from 90 days to 180 days. This latest extension will add 25 more days for public comment. In a statement, EPA said it will not finalize the rule until it has fully reviewed the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) peer review of the report on the connectivity of streams and wetlands and finalized the scientific connectivity report.

An EPA spokesman said the report is expected the middle of this month.

The proposal has drawn scrutiny from many agricultural organizations that are concerned that this rule could significantly expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act while creating more uncertainty over what will be subject to federal regulation.   

In September the US House of Representatives passed the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014. Senate action is unlikely however before the end of the year. The White House has threatened to veto the bill.

Here are details on submitting comments on the proposed rule, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880, can be done by one of the following methods:

-- Federal e-Rulemaking Portal is online by clicking here. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

-- Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.

-- Mail: Send the original and three copies of comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.



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