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Recent Developments in Federal Wetlands Law: Part I

June 1996

Citation: ELR 10283

Author: Margaret N. Strand

Editors' Summary: This Article is the first in a series intended to supplement Federal Wetlands Law, a primer that ELR published in 1993 and subsequently incorporated into the Wetlands Deskbook. The Article, which refers to the primer but stands on its own, focuses primarily on where wetlands law has changed since publication of the primer. The Article first provides an update of legislative and executive branch developments in wetlands law and policy. Next, it discusses the jurisdiction of Clean Water Act § 404, including wetlands-delineation issues and the controversy over isolated wetlands and groundwater. Finally, the Article covers regulated and exempted activities under § 404, including agricultural activities. Relevant judicial developments are discussed throughout.

Ms. Strand is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Bayh, Connaughton & Malone, where she practices environmental litigation and counseling. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Wetland Characterization and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Barbara J. Bergman of Bayh, Connaughton & Malone in the preparation of this Article.