June 2020, Vol. 247, No. 6

Government

Federal Court Decision Threatens Pipeline Work Around Wetlands

By Stephen Barlas, Contributing Editor, Washington, D.C.   Pipeline construction in and around wetlands faces a major, new legal impediment given the significant decision by a federal district court in Montana in mid-April.  The court vacated Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12, which is widely used by pipelines for trenching activities in and around potential wetland areas where projects would not result in the loss of greater than half-an-acre of water. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) either approves or rejects these permits when pipelines would cross waters of the United States (WOTUS). Otherwise, for big projects crossing wetlands, pipelines must obtain indi

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