November 05, 2018

State Assumption of the Federal Dredge and Fill Permitting Program: The Search for the “Holy Grail”—The Great Debate Over Assumable Waters

Susan L. Stephens and Adam J. Blalock

Frank Matthews, a prominent Tallahassee environmental lawyer, once quipped that Florida’s assuming federal dredge and fill permitting authority from the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) would be “the Holy Grail for developers,” because it would end the frustration and delay that developers (and others) often experience in obtaining federal Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 dredge and fill permits. The state of Florida is currently seeking section 404 program assumption, which, if successful, could well light the way down a path that only two states to date have taken (Michigan and New Jersey).

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