The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have announced that they are extending the public comment period for their Joint “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) proposed rule from July 21 until October 20, 2014, an additional 91 days. This extension is in response to numerous requests received by the agencies. The agencies are continuing to meet with state and local government representatives, stakeholders, and elected officials during the comment period. The WOTUS proposed rule will clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources.

The agencies have also extended the public comment period on the interpretive rule by 30 days to July 7th. The interpretive rule ensures that 56 specific conservation practices that protect or improve water quality and are conducted in conformance with NRCS practice standards will not be subject to Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting requirements for discharges of dredged or fill material. 

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: 

  1. Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.
  3. 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. 
  4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is 202-566-2426.

 

More information about the proposed rule can be found at www.epa.gov/uswaters.