Army Corps unveils post-Sackett wetlands plans

By Miranda Willson | 03/22/2024 01:34 PM EDT

The agency will “use applicable authorities and available resources” to try to preserve some bodies of water no longer regulated by the Clean Water Act.


A new memo lays out the Army Corps of Engineers' plans for protecting wetlands. Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers will try to conserve U.S. wetlands left vulnerable to development after a Supreme Court ruling last year, including by helping states that set up water protection programs, the agency said Friday.

The Army Corps laid out a series of actions on wetlands that are key to advancing the Biden administration’s water resource initiatives, the White House said in a statement commemorating “World Water Day.”

Following the high court’s ruling in Sackett v. EPA, developers and energy companies no longer need a permit from the Army Corps to build over wetlands that do not directly touch a major body of water. The decision leaves more than half of the nation’s remaining wetlands outside the scope of the Clean Water Act.


While the ruling shrunk the Corps’ oversight of activities that disturb many wetlands and streams, the agency will try to use its other authorities to protect water resources “that are now more vulnerable,” Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the Army, said in a memorandum.