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The Postal Regulatory Commission says it wants to make it easier for communities to appeal potential post office closings and has published proposed rule changes to streamline the process.

Last month, the U.S. Postal Service listed some 3,700 post offices around the country that it wants to close because of its severe financial problems.

The proposed changes to the rules for appeals were published Thursday on the commission’s Web site and should appear next week in the Federal Register. “The new rules simplify the procedures for person’s wishing to appeal a post office closing or consolidation,” the commission said in its filing.

The changes to the current rules, which are more than 30 years old, would get rid of cumbersome filing regulations and out-of-date language and are intended to reduce delays, according to a commission official.

Comments on the proposals are due by Oct. 3.

The Postal Service has said that it expects to begin sending out letters of determination on each individual post office proposed for closing by the end of October, and that the process will take months.

Officials with the Postal Regulatory Commission said that ,if approved as expected, the proposed rule changes would likely be in effect before the end of the year, in time to help members of the public and communities seeking to appeal at least some of the proposed closings.

The Postal Service has also proposed cutting its workforce by 20 percent.