Some Vermont wetlands could be left vulnerable after Supreme Court ruling takes effect
Federal protections for most of the country's wetlands were lifted Aug. 29 to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Pat Parentau is a professor at the Vermont Law and Graduate School.
"This really is the most devastating impact on the federal water quality program in the history of the Clean Water Act, so we're talking over 50 years," Parentau says.
It's not clear what the ruling means for Vermont. Many wetlands here are not subject to federal regulation because of state law.
But there may be a catch. Parentau says Vermont law only protects "significant" wetlands.
"So you have this question — is there a category of wetlands in VT that are not covered by the state law, because if they're not covered by the state law, they sure are not gonna be covered by the federal law," Parentau says.
State environmental officials may need to determine if some state waterways could now be vulnerable to developers that weren't before.
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