Thursday, June 12, 2003

Fourth Circuit affirms Clean Water Act jurisdiction over landowners who dug a drainage ditch 32 miles from Chesapeake Bay

In United States v. Deaton, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Michael, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins and Judge Luttig, affirmed the judgement against landowners who tried to improve the drainage on their 12-acre parcel of land situated some 32 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, where the evidence showed that the flow made its way from the ditch to the Bay, upholding that the government was acting within its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act in treating the property as "wetlands," and affirming the trial court's remediation order which required the defendants to fill in the ditch.

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