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California State Water Board Moves toward Broadened Jurisdiction over Activities Affecting Wetlands

January 31, 2013

By DAVID M. METRES

On January 28, the California State Water Resources Control Board reissued its Preliminary Draft Wetland Area Protection Policy (the Draft Policy). If finalized, the Draft Policy would establish a regulatory definition of wetlands, methods for delineating such wetlands, and procedures for authorizing dredge and fill discharges to waters of the State. Through this Policy, the State Board would regulate development in and near wetlands to the full extent of its statutory authority for the first time. This new administrative authority may require permits to be obtained for many more activities, and thus must be monitored as the Draft Policy continues to evolve.