Supreme Court wetlands Decision Worries State Water Advocates

(Pierre) — A recent U.S. Supreme Court wetlands decision may have implications for wetlands in South Dakota. Many conservation groups disagree with the ruling, pointing out that a wetland does not need a surface water connection to interact with other water. Other wetlands advocates worry the Supreme Court’s decision means states are now in charge of protecting many of the wetlands that are no longer protected by the Clean Water Act. It was determined by the Supreme Court at the end of May that the federal Clean Water Act only applies to wetlands that are always connected via surface water to “navigable” waters, like rivers and lakes. Brian Walsh with the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources says they are “is still evaluating the full impact” of the Supreme Court opinion.

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