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E-M:/ EPA Official Promises Guidelines to Define Wetlands

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>

EPA Official Promises Guidelines to Define Wetlands                        
Associated Press

Thursday , August 31, 2006                                                 
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The Bush administration is preparing instructions   
 for regulators puzzling over which wetlands are covered by federal clean   
 water law, a top Environmental Protection Agency official said Wednesday.  
 But the EPA hasn't decided whether to issue a comprehensive regulation on  
 the issue in the wake of a confusing U.S. Supreme Court ruling in two      
 Michigan wetlands cases, said Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator   
 for water.                                                                 
 "Our overarching goal is to continue to protect wetlands under the Clean   
 Water Act to the maximum extent allowable since the decision," Grumbles    
 told The Associated Press in an interview. "Which tools are the best to    
 use is a policy decision we haven't made yet."                            

 Michigan and New Jersey handle federal wetland permitting within their     
 borders. But most other states likely will want a new regulation           
 clarifying where federal jurisdiction applies, said Peg Bostwick, wetland  
 specialist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.          
 "My concern is that we do rulemaking sufficient to satisfy the Supreme     
 Court but still straightforward enough to be comprehensible to the         
 public," Bostwick said. "That's going to be a real fine line to walk."     

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