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Freshwater wetlands protection upheld.

A Dec. 4 Supreme Court ruling has upheld the federal government's right to regulate -- even prohibit -- development of freshwater wetlands. The case involed a suburban builder in Michigan that attempted to fill in 80 acres of marsh, near a lake, in preparation for construction of anew housing development. The Army Corps of Engineers objected, saying that such landfilling operations required a permit from them. The builder refused, claiming that the Corps -- traditionally charged with maintaining navigable waters -- had no jurisdiction over these wet lands. But in a unanimous opinion, the court ruled that "the evident breadth of congressional concern for protection of water quality and aquatic ecosystems suggests that it is reasonable for the Corps to interpret the term 'waters' to encompass wetlands adjacent to waters as more conventionally defined."
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Title Annotation:by Supreme Court
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 21, 1985
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