Policy and Regulatory Programs Affecting Wetlands and Waters of the Mid-Atlantic Region

Chapter

Abstract

Federal and state laws and policies determine which wetlands and waters are protected and which are not. More than a century of policy evolution has reflected growing understanding of the importance of wetland systems, while responding to economic and social pressures of a rising population with development expectations. Federal laws, chiefly the Clean Water Act, provide the most substantial regulatory framework governing what activities may take place in wetlands and under what conditions. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the federal permitting program, which allows filling of waters and wetlands under individual, nationwide, or general permits, subject to requirements for avoidance, minimization, and compensation for impacts. Supreme Court cases in the first decade of the twenty-first century have made the application of the Clean Water Act to wetlands more complex, requiring science to try to answer legal questions. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, state laws also regulate activities in many wetlands and waters, with most states operating permitting regimes in addition to the federal system. Finally, other federal programs and international agreements provide additional opportunities for wetland conservation.

Keywords

Transportation Hunt Jetty 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Law InstituteWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Riparia, Department of GeographyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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