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Front St.Trails Section - Clovis Free PressLinks St.
Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press

Tuesday April 17, 2001
Wetlands Protection
Prohibits builders from developing
California's and Nation's vernal pools and marshes

By Edward Davidian, Staff Writer

               Related feature: Clovis Wetlands!

     CLOVIS --The Bush administration announced on Monday the Clean Water Act will take effect today, prohibiting developers from excavating in the nation's swamps, bogs and marshes without government approval.
     The rule states that activities such as landscaping or ditch digging in wetland areas must be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA estimates that 20,000 acres of wetlands have been destroyed in the last two years because of work done without approval.
     The new rule, which is part of the Clean Water Act, was approved by the White House after the Bush administration completed a review of its regulations. "In addition to serving as habitat for wildlife, wetlands help filter and protect our country's water supply," EPA chief Christie Whitman said Monday. "Today's action will help preserve our wetlands for ourselves and for future generations."
     Jerry Howard, president of the National Assn. of Home Builders, told reporters the builders have already filed a lawsuit to have the Bush Wetlands rule thrown out. The issue of wetlands preservation has long been a battleground for environmental groups and the construction industry. Under the Clean Water Act, introducing contaminants into creeks, streams, ponds, and marshlands is prohibited.

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