Alaska, Nebraska Wetlands Takeover Tied to Federal Waters Ruling
Environment attorney Rafe Petersen spoke with Bloomberg Law about Alaska and Nebraska actively pursuing taking over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) dredge-and-fill permitting program for waters and wetlands as the agency prepares to update its rule governing such takeovers. The states are watching the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in Sackett v. EPA to see if the justices narrow the number of wetlands that fall under federal protections as waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). States are seeking control over wetland dredge-and-fill permits to try to speed up development so builders can avoid having to obtain a costly and time-consuming federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mr. Petersen suggested that the outcome of the Sackett case could drive more states to pursue taking over 404 permitting if the court narrows the wetlands that count as WOTUS.
“I would assume the red states might want to take it on,” he said.
In the article, Mr. Peterson added that the states seeking 404 assumptions are letting the Army Corps issue the 404 permits to avoid the costs of taking on an entirely new permitting program.
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