Chair of Locke Lord’s Renewable Energy Section and Houston Environmental Partner Ben Cowan was quoted by E&E News Greenwire on emerging issues and looming uncertainty surrounding wetland policy after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He notes that regulation of many wetlands previously subject to the Clean Water Act will now be redirected to the state level, but the likelihood of states imposing their own regulations is slim in many cases.
“The decision essentially leaves protection and regulation of most wetlands to the states, most of which do not have robust regulatory programs in place for wetlands since it has largely been a federal issue,” said Cowan. "Given current political tides and the ever-present pressures and limitations on state resources it seems highly unlikely that most states will step in to fill the void left by the new limit on federal jurisdiction, meaning a majority of wetlands in the country that are not otherwise protected may be left vulnerable to development."
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