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State Seeks Primacy over Alaska Wetlands

January 18, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – In another move to assure Alaskans have more say about the use of their lands, Governor Sean Parnell today submitted legislation authorizing the State of Alaska to assume primacy from the federal government to administer the regulatory program for managing certain wetlands.

“Alaskans should have a bigger say over regulation of our land and water resources,” Governor Parnell said. “This change will limit federal overreach and put more decision making in the hands of Alaskans over the use of our land and resources. By assuming primacy, the people of Alaska will have greater authority over their lands and waters.”

The federal Clean Water Act allows states to seek and assume primacy over certain permitting activities.

Governor Parnell’s bill would ultimately give the state authority to make jurisdictional determinations, process permits in a timely manner and increase responsible resource development. The bill provides that the Department of Natural Resources in coordination with the Department of Environmental Conservation will take reasonable steps necessary to assume federal authority to administer and enforce any authorized dredge and fill permitting allowed under federal law.

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