Wetlands: “Swampbuster” Remains Where WOTUS Ends

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Farmlaw recently contributed a short article to Southern Ag Today (linked) on the distinction between wetlands protections modified by the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA and those remaining in place under the Security Act of 1985 and its successors (a/k/a “the Farm Bill”). This Farm Bill program – known as “Swampbuster” – disqualifies landowners and farm operators from participation in federal Farm Bill programs (e.g. conservation payments, crop insurance subsidies, etc.) if they are found to have converted wetlands (as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service) after December of 1985. Because the Sackett decision is limited to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (a/k/a the “Clean Water Act”), the Farm Bill program remains in place though it is also a federal program. Under Clean Water Act, a landowner must secure a “Section 404” permit to fill or drain wetlands considered Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”), and the Sackett decision objectively frees more acreage from this expensive requirement for land alteration. Swampbuster on the other hand does not rely on a “permit or penalty” scheme, but rather a landowner certification under review by NRCS for continuing program eligibility. Hence, the expansion of landowner dominion over “isolated” wetlands on their property (those no longer subject to federal protections under Clean Water Act) is arguably more relevant to a landowner’s decision to remove land from agricultural or forest production for non-farm development.