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U.S. EPA WILL HOLD PUBLIC MEETING ON WETLANDS PLAN IN CLARKDALE

 SAN FRANCISCO, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public workshop to present the results of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report on the resources associated with the upper Verde River, and to solicit comments on options for identifying sites along the river as either generally unsuitable or potentially suitable for the discharge of sand, gravel and other fill materials.
 The workshop will be held Wednesday, June 30, at the Clark Memorial Clubhouse Auditorium in Clarkdale at 7 p.m.
 "The results of the Advanced Identification project will be an indispensable source of information on the unique resources associated with the Verde River, and one that the public can use in developing a management plan for the river," said Harry Seraydarian, U.S. EPA's water management division director.
 The workshop is the latest step in the development of a project called Advanced Identification in which U.S. EPA and the Corps will identify areas along the river as generally unsuitable for discharge or as potential discharge sites.
 The Advanced Identification will not substitute for the Section 404 permit process required by the Clean Water Act for those seeking to discharge dredged or fill materials. The Advanced Identification will be used by EPA and the Corps to determine if a permit should be issued. It also provides those who seek a permit with an indication of whether a permit is likely to be received. The intent of the Advanced Identification is to discourage permit applications for discharges in ecologically important areas identified as generally unsuitable.
 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Report is an assessment of the river's wetland and riparian areas along a 125-mile stretch of the river from its headwaters at Sullivan Lake to Horseshoe Reservoir. The assessment addresses various aspects of the Verde River, including aquatic and wildlife habitat; recreation; groundwater discharge; sediment stabilization; and certain unique characteristics such as threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, and existing or proposed wild and scenic designations. The assessment was prepared to provide the public and the U.S. EPA with resource information about the river for development of the Advanced Identification.
 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 comment and identify proposed sites. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed site identifications at a later workshop.
 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.
 A copy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report can be obtained at the following locations:
 Camp Verde Library Mr. John O'Neill
 P.O. Box 566 Director, Cottonwood Library
 Camp Verde, AZ 86322 401 E. Mingus Ave.
 Cottonwood, AZ 86326
 Ms. Jane Tavasci
 Town of Clarkdale
 PO Box 308
 Clarkdale, AZ 86324
 -0- 6/16/93
 /CONTACT: Contact: Lois Grunwald of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1588/


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

TM -- SF011 -- 2798 06/16/93 17:29 EDT @ @
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Date:Jun 16, 1993
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