vernal pool By Elizabeth Zach, staff writer         

California regulators plan to override a federal ruling that relaxes wetlands development—a move that would be even more protective of the environment than rules imposed during the Obama presidency.

Environmental groups are cheering the pending regulations, whereas land developers and farmers see the move as economically restrictive.

“The state board should be adopting a policy that is even more protective of California’s wetlands,” Rachel Zwillinger, water policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife, told the Sacramento Bee. “This (proposed) policy is a critical opportunity for the state to step up and protect its own resources.”

Developers, homebuilders and farmers are critical of the regulations, claiming they could mean higher costs and fewer rights for landowners, and could also weaken the state’s economy.

“The impact may be particularly substantial for the agricultural industry and large-scale infrastructure projects in California that will almost certainly be subjected to additional permitting hoops and exposed to additional third-party litigation,” Tom Boer, a San Francisco lawyer who represents businesses in environmental cases, told the Bee.

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