sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Thursday, June 22, 2006

.....Strange bedfellows.....

I finaly got around to reading up the Supreme Court's recent decision regarding the Army Corps of Engineers' enforcement of the Clean Water Act.

I believe that the ruling, which neither upheld nor rolled back the Corps' authority in issuing development permits, will lead to a more common-sense, case-by-case approach in defining exactly what a wetland is. A left-leaning friend of mine who develops property has expressed frustration at having to obtain permits from the Corps for "wetlands" that haven't held a drop of water in years.

But here are two very interesting paragraphs:

"The landmark 1972 environmental legislation gave federal regulators the power to control the discharge of pollutants into "navigable waters." On the theory that what gets dumped upstream eventually winds up downstream, the government has interpreted that term to include not only large lakes and rivers but also their smaller tributaries, including some ditches or stream beds that are dry for all or most of the year and wetlands near those tributaries.

"The Bush administration, backed by environmental organizations and more than 30 state governments, told the court that any narrower interpretation would cripple the Clean Water Act."

I repeat: "The Bush adminstration, backed by environmental groups........"


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