Supreme Court ruling eliminates protections from vast areas of wetlands
May 26, 2023
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday eliminated federal protections for vast numbers of the nation's wetlands, setting the stage for their conversion to farm fields and urban development.
The effect could be blunted for Minnesota's 10 million acres of wetlands because of state conservation laws. But the effects of lost wetlands elsewhere could be felt here in the impact on migratory birds and water quality.
The nation's highest court ruled that federal Clean Water Act protections only apply to wetlands with a "continuous surface connection" to bodies of water already deemed waters of the United States. That means more isolated wetlands will no longer be protected, and parties seeking to dredge or fill them would no longer be required to get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.