A group of state agencies is evaluating what it would mean for the state to manage wetlands permitting for development projects.
Wetlands permitting has largely been controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act since it was passed in 1972. It is locally overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Section 404 requires “anyone discharging dredged or fill material in waters of the United States” to obtain a permit to do so from the Corps of Engineers.
The state currently has a similar Certification of Reasonable Assurance granted it under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act that gives states the ability to review federal wetlands permit applications.
In its last session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 27, which directed the state to begin the process of filing the necessary applications with EPA and the Corps of Engineers to obtain wetlands oversight, or primacy.