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Avoyelles Sportsmen's League v. Alexander

Citation: 11 ELR 20321
No. No. 78-1428, 511 F. Supp. 278/17 ERC 1375/(W.D. La., 03/12/1981) Ruling on Corps' jurisdiction

The court rules that the Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction under § 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) extends to freshwater wetlands containing vegetation tolerant to saturated soil conditions. The court had previously enjoined private defendants' land-clearing operations prior to obtaining dredge and fill permits under § 404, 11 ELR 20315, but did not rule on the Corps' final wetland determinations. It now finds that Congress intended that the term "waters of the United States" be given the broadest possible constitutional interpretation. Thus, the Corps' 1977 regulations, which define waters of the United States to include freshwater wetlands containing vegetation "typically adapted to" instead of "requiring" saturated soil conditions validly expanded the Corps' § 404 jurisdiction to achieve the goals of the FWPCA. The court approves, with certain exceptions, the Corps' final wetland determinations for the Lake Long Tract in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana and enjoins any land-clearing operations conducted without a § 404 permit.

Counsel are listed at 11 ELR 20315.