RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the decision made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the public comment period on the Clean Water Act “waters of the U.S.” proposed rule until Nov. 14.

The rule would significantly impact how homeowners and professionals can treat property near any water, including man-made water bodies, rights-of-way, golf course ponds, ditches and flood plains due to expanded permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act. During this extended public comment time, the Scientific Advisory Board will release its peer review on the Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands Report. The comment period originally ended July 21, and was extended to October 20, before EPA’s latest announcement.

“EPA’s decision to extend the public comment period to November 14, shows the complexity of the proposed rule and its definitions, and the need for extra time so the public can provide meaningful comments,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president. “The SAB’s peer review of the Connectivity Report is an important piece to understanding how EPA defined certain keywords in the rule.”

“The proposed rule would cause significant consequences for communities by jeopardizing important applications for public health and the environment. This comment period extension is the second one issued on this rule, and really shows the difference our grassroots and members are making with their engagement,” Hobbs added.