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Recent Developments in Federal Wetlands Law: Part II

July 1996

Citation: 26 ELR 10339

Issue: 7

Author: Margaret N. Strand

Editors' Summary: This Article is the second 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 the primer's publication. The Article first discusses nationwide and general permits under Clean Water Act §404, including a new nationwide permit that applies to single-family homesites. Next, the Article discusses individual permits under §404, focusing primarily on the permit process, mitigation issues, NEPA issues, and after-the-fact permits. It also covers EPA's authority under §404(c) to veto U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-issued permits. Finally, the Article addresses enforcement issues, including statute of limitations, penalties, injunctive relief, and citizen suits. In discussing criminal enforcement, the Article emphasizes that §404 violators face significant consequences for their illegal acts.

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.

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