Congress Must Protect Innocent Property Owners from Section 404 Civil and Criminal Penalties

Daren Bakst and Tony Francois, “Congress Must Protect Innocent Property Owners from Section 404 Civil and Criminal Penalties," Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 5275, June 22, 2022.

7 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2022

See all articles by Daren Bakst

Daren Bakst

The Heritage Foundation

Tony Francois

Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP

Date Written: June 21, 2022

Abstract

For decades, property owners across the United States have struggled to comply with the Clean Water Act, in large part because they do not know which “waters” are regulated. Vague definitions, inconsistent enforcement, and changing rules contribute to this ongoing problem. Despite the confusion, the federal government continues to impose civil and criminal penalties on property owners—even when they cannot know that they are violating the law. Congress should rectify this situation by protecting innocent property owners while giving the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers the necessary flexibility to properly and reasonably enforce the law.

Keywords: clean water act, wetlands, environment, mens rea, environmental protection agency, corps of engineers, property rights, private property, land use, enforcement, waters of the united states, navigable waters

JEL Classification: K1, K2, K3, K4, K10, K11, K20, K23, K32, K40, K42, Q2, Q10, Q15, Q20, Q24, Q25, Q28, Q53, Q57

Suggested Citation

Bakst, Daren and Francois, Tony, Congress Must Protect Innocent Property Owners from Section 404 Civil and Criminal Penalties (June 21, 2022). Daren Bakst and Tony Francois, “Congress Must Protect Innocent Property Owners from Section 404 Civil and Criminal Penalties," Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 5275, June 22, 2022., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4144931 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4144931

Daren Bakst (Contact Author)

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002-4999
United States
202-546-4400 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://heritage.org

Tony Francois

Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
143
PlumX Metrics