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Pitfalls of Ping Pong WOTUS Policy

May 19th, 2021,  12:30 - 1:30 pm ET

Administrations come and go. Environmental regulations ebb and flow with the tides of political climate change. Legal battles ensue. Environmental consultants, regulatory enforcers, and developers are left to pick up the pieces.  With recent rollbacks to rollbacks of WOTUS rules, come see how other environmental regulators and consultants are responsibly tackling the turbid waters.


Webinar Convergence of Wetland Science and Technology-2


Jeremy Schewe, PWS, Chief Scientific Officer,  Ecobot


Presenters & Panelists:

Donna Downing, J.D.,  Senior Legal Policy Advisor, ASWM

Gordon Shaw, PWS, Senior Wetland Specialist, Burns & McDonnell

Matthew Stahman, PWS, Director of Regulatory, RES

Royal Gardner, J.D., Professor, Stetson University College of Law



  • Backdrop of evolution of WOTUS rules and CWA
  • 2015 Clean Water Rule to 2020 Navigable Water Protection Rule changes
  • "Proving" or justifying a stream being called ephemeral
  • Temporary impacts permits for ephemerals streams
  • Uptick in AJD applications
  • Variation in review of permit applications in different regions
  • Additional field data requests for concurrence
  • Reduction of mitigation needs by order of magnitude
  • Litigations, hold-ups and delays/extensions
  • Where will the pendulum swing with the current administration?
  • How are the developers and lawyers representing them handling the pendulum swing?


More from Jeremy:

As an ecologist conducting wetlands delineations, threatened & endangered species surveys, and baseline ecological inventories for over 18 years around the world, I have been able to avoid the rise of tech for many years more than people in most other professions, due to the lack of quality tools available to environmental scientists. It is the 21st century, however, and the wheel of innovation is rolling through every profession, including earth sciences.

In this webinar, we will discuss how it is essential that tech be simple, intuitive, and shaped by scientists. We need technology that wraps and enhances our existing methodologies and protocols. Our shared vision as scientists is that good technology should be almost invisible and is not simply a transference of inefficiency from one process to another. The wrong kind of technology just adds to the stresses of balancing conservation and monitoring with permitting and state and federal changes in the legal jurisdiction of water bodies.

Data collection and analysis are the foundation for the creation of knowledge, and knowledge leads to the protection of our natural resources while enabling economic progress. The right kind of technology gets out of the scientist’s way and allows for a greater percentage of attention and focus on the creation of this critical knowledge. In this webinar series, we discuss technology trends in the wetland science community from GPS collectors, field equipment, drones, data collection applications, digitization of the regulatory review process, with the goal-setting a high bar of expectations for new technologies that are becoming part of our everyday workflows.