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 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extended the public comment period by 30 days for the draft guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act. In response to requests from state and local officials, as well as other stakeholders, EPA and the Corps will take additional comment until July 31, 2011, on this important draft guidance that aims to protect U.S. waters.

This change in the public comment period will not impact the schedule for finalizing the guidance or alter the intent to proceed with a rulemaking.

According to the agencies, public input received will be carefully considered as they make final decisions regarding the guidance. These comments will also be very helpful as the agencies prepare a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The original 60-day public comment period was originally set to expire on July 1, 2011. The agencies will be publishing a notice of this 30-day extension in the Federal Register.

More information is available at http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm.

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