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EPA Extends Comment Period on WOTUS Rule

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending, for a second time, the comment period on the proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which would expand the agency's jurisdiction over specific waterways under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA's decision extends by three weeks the previous deadline of October 20, allowing public comments through November 14, 2014. In a statement regarding the extension, the EPA stated that the agency's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is finalizing a report on the connectivity of streams and wetlands, and that EPA wants to give the public more time to comment on the results of the report once it is released. The report is expected in mid-October.

The SAB has already sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stating that the proposed rule is supported by science, and should be more expansive. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to prevent EPA from implementing WOTUS. Republican lawmakers introduced similar legislation in the Senate, although a floor vote is not expected.

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