Bush Administration Offers New Wetlands Guidance

Date: January 9, 2003

Source: News Room

The Bush administration has issued new, and controversial, guidance regarding federal authority over the nation's wetlands. The new guidance attempts to clarify the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over isolated, non-navigable wetlands. Federal authority to protect such wetlands from development was called into question by a 2001 Supreme Court decision in a case brought by a developer who was penalized for filling manmade ponds that were providing habitat for migratory birds. Under the latest decision, the EPA and Corps are instructing their field staff not to require permits under the Clean Water Act for the pollution or destruction of wetlands that are located within a single state and are not associated with any navigable waterway, such as a lake or river.

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