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Conant v. United States

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20453
Nos. No. 84-3717, 786 F.2d 1008/24 ERC 1343/(11th Cir., 02/07/1986) District court injunction aff'd

The court holds that the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) requires a farmer to obtain a §404 permit from the Corps of Engineers before discharging dredge and fill material into wetlands on his property for the construction of a fish pond, that the wetlands in question are navigable waters, and that none of §404's exceptions apply. The court first holds that FWPCA's definition of navigable waters as the "waters of the United States" includes wetlands. The court then rules that the area is an adjacent wetland and thus a §404 permit was required. The court holds that the appellant's construction of a fish pond does not qualify for any of the §404(f) exceptions. The pond does not fall under the exception for ongoing farming, since it is a new operation, nor does it qualify for the exception for stock maintenance. The court notes appellant's argument that he is exempt from a §402 pollution discharge permit because his ponds produce less than 100,000 pounds per year, but does not exempt him from the requirements of §404.

[A related decision appears at 14 ELR 20427 — Ed.]

Counsel for Plaintiff (Pro Se)
Marcus Conant
P.O. Box 30, Gainesville FL 32602
(904) 372-4813

Counsel for Defendant
Kenneth Sukhia, Ass't U.S. Attorney
110 E. Park Ave., Rm. 100, Tallahassee FL 32301
(904) 224-3186

Before Roney, Hatchett, and Henderson, JJ.