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U.S. EPA AND THE CORPS WILL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS ON RIVER PLAN

 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold public workshops to solicit comments about proposed sites that the agencies have selected along the upper Verde River which are either generally unsuitable or potentially suitable for the discharge of sand, gravel and other fill materials. Specifically, the agencies want recommendations on which sites should be added or deleted from the list of proposed sites and the reasons for these recommended changes.
 "We are eager to hear from the residents of the Verde Valley on the proposed sites that the U.S. EPA and the Corps have selected," said Harry Seraydarian. U.S. EPA's regional water management division director. "This is a unique opportunity for residents of the valley to decide what course they would like to take in developing a management plan for the river."
 The first workshop will be held Monday, Sept. 27, 1993, at 7 p.m. at the Quality Inn Motel, Banquet Facility Room; 302 W. Highway 89A, Cottonwood. The next workshop will be held Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Town of Camp Verde Community Center ("Old High School"), Camp Verde.
 The proposed site selections are based on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report assessing the river's wetland and riparian areas along a 125-mile stretch of the river from its headwaters at Sullivan Lake to Horseshoe Reservoir, and comments received from the public at a meeting held in June of this year.
 This Advanced Identification will add clarity and predictability to the Section 404 permit process by identifying in advance sites in whi a permit is likely to be issued and sites in which it will be very difficult for a permit to be issued. One of the purposes of the Advanced Identification is to discourage permit applications for discharges in ecologically important areas identified as generally unsuitable.
 For areas or activities selected as potentially suitable for the discharge of fill materials, the U.S. EPA and the Corps will work on streamlining the permit process so that permits can be issued quickly. For areas or activities that are selected as generally unsuitable for the discharge of fill materials, the two agencies will review each permit proposal on a case-by-case basis, but obtaining a permit would be difficult and highly unlikely.
 After the workshop, the next step in the development of the Advanced Identification will be for the U.S. EPA and Corps of Engineers to review public comments and prepare the final site identifications.
 The Verde River was chosen for Advanced Identification because of its significant biological and recreational values, the threat to these resources, and local and state efforts to protect them. The project will complement state and local efforts in developing a riparian management plan to protect the Verde River.
 The Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of dredged and fill materials into waters of the United States through the section 404 permit program, which is jointly administered by U.S. EPA and the Corps.
 -0- 9/17/93
 /CONTACT: Lois Grunwald of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1588/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Army ST: Arizona IN: ENV SU: EXE

TM -- SF004 -- 3076 09/17/93 12:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 17, 1993
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