Wetland Study Author to Testify on Hill

WASHINGTON, DC April 29, 1997 —Denouncing the Army Corps of Engineer's Section 404 wetlands restoration program as “costly, ineffective, and unnecessary” Environmental Policy Analyst Jonathan Tolman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute called for its elimination in testimony delivered today on Capitol Hill.

Speaking before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Tolman argued that the program is no longer needed to restore wetlands and what little it does contribute to overall national restoration comes at excessive cost to both the government and to private land owners.

“The federal government's cost of protecting and restoring wetlands under the 404 program is approximately $3,980 per acre. This is nearly five times what the other programs cost per acre of wetland. In addition, the 404 program imposes significant costs on private landowners, while the other voluntary programs do not impose these costs,” said Tolman.

Tolman cited his recent study, Swamped: How America Achieved “No Net Loss”, when he pointed out that America is now gaining more wetlands than it is losing, mostly due to voluntary programs such as the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Wetlands Reserve Program.

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