"Nationally, developers, environmentalists and regulators were interested in the outcome of Newdunn Associates v. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As is its custom, the Supreme Court offered no explanation Monday when it disclosed it would not hear Newdunn and two similar wetland cases in Maryland and Michigan.In effect, this allows three lower court rulings to stand for the time being. These rulings basically come down as allowing the Army Corp of Engineers to regulate water ways, and anything that flows into those water ways including drainage ditches. It would be nice though to have a clear ruling from the Supreme Court on exactly falls with the Corps' authority, but for now, this is good news.
Conservationists and regulators are happy. Developers feel crushed.
The Supreme Court's refusal leaves intact an earlier decision by the federal 4th Circuit, which affirmed the Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction over wetlands - even lands that aren't wet most of the year or near major waterways.
Wetlands can be swamps or marshes, but they can also be upland areas that flood or have saturated soils for part of the year. Wetlands are important because they filter water and provide habitat for plants and animals.
The court's decision is horrible news for landowners in the 4th Circuit, which includes Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas, said Douglas Kahle, attorney for Newdunn."