Liability of Engineers When Wetlands Laws Change

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by Peter J. Coote,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water:

Abstract: Engineers who perform wetlands delineations or design facilities in wetlands areas are increasingly sued in court when wetlands laws or regulations change. Owners and developers whose property values decrease or need to spend more money to develop their land when wetlands laws and regulations change are seeking to blame the engineers for malpractice. They often expect the engineer to have a crystal ball that will anticipate all changes in the law. This paper discusses the basis for liability for engineers working with wetlands, and suggests steps that can be taken to avoid such liability if wetlands' laws and regulations change. Additionally, this paper briefly discusses pending changes in laws and regulations that affect engineers involved in wetlands' issues, including the Reauthorization of the Clean Water Act.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (fresh water) | Laws | Liability | Building design | Owners | Land use | Clean Water Act |

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