SCOTUS wetlands rollbacks
Credit: darkday/Flickr

States navigate wetland protections in wake of Supreme Court decision

Following a Supreme Court ruling that removed federal protections for many wetlands, states are now divided on how to respond, with some enhancing protections and others rolling them back.

Alex Brown reports for Stateline.


In short:

  • The ruling has led to a varied response among states, with blue states like Illinois seeking to bolster wetland protections, while red states, including Indiana, are reducing safeguards.
  • The absence of federal oversight leaves over half of the nation's wetlands vulnerable, impacting water quality and flood management.
  • States without prior regulations or those rolling back existing ones face criticism for undermining environmental protections and public health.

Key quote:

"It creates a checkered landscape in terms of water quality."

— Marla Stelk, executive director of the National Association of Wetland Managers

Why this matters:

A patchwork approach to wetlands protections in the absence of a coherent federal policy tied to the Clean Water Act poses risks to water quality and public health. Read more on the Trump administration's attack on water protections: Derrick Z. Jackson: EPA’s new water rule is a mockery of science and the Clean Water Act.

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