Donald Trump’s administration revokes Obama’s clean water rules

Donald Trump’s administration revokes Obama’s clean water rules


The Trump administration on Thursday announced repeal of an Obama-era regulation that had expanded pollution protections for waterways such as wetlands and shallow streams, but that farmers, miners and manufacturers decried as overreach The widely anticipated move to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, known as ‘WOTUS,’ is part of a broader effort by President Donald Trump to roll back environmental regulations to boost industry Environmental groups called the move ‘shameful and dangerous.’It was announced by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the National Manufacturers’ Association’s headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan Wheeler said that the EPA and the U.S. Army would reinstate water rules that were issued in the 1980s, and would begin re-defining which waterways can be regulated, a task to be completed by this winter ‘Today´s Step 1 action fulfills a key promise of President Trump and sets the stage for Step 2 – a new WOTUS definition that will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, home builders, and developers nationwide,’ Wheeler said in a statement Move: EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is repealing the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, known as ‘WOTUS ‘ He used the National Manufacturers’ Association’s headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan to announce he was revoking rules Key rule: Obama’s Waters of the United States rule had defined which streams and wetlands are protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act from pollutants including pesticides, fertilizers and mine waste’This action officially ends an egregious power grab and sets the stage for a new rule that will provide much-needed regulatory certainty for farmers, home builders and property owners nationwide,’ Wheeler and R D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, wrote in a column published Thursday by the Des Moines Register   Since enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the federal government has gone beyond protection of navigable waterways and their major tributaries to assert jurisdiction over ‘isolated ponds and channels that flow only after it rains,’ the officials wrote ‘As the definition expanded, so too has Washington’s power over private property and the states’ traditional authority to regulate their land and water resources,’ they said ‘This final rule reestablishes national consistency across the country,’ said James, assistant secretary of the U S. Army for civil works. He said it will eliminate the ‘patchwork’ of definitions of waterways regulated under the Clean Water Act as a result of various court decisions enjoining the 2015 rule The Obama-era rule had been in place in 22 states, the District of Columbia and U S. territories while the 1980s-era regulations were in place in 27 states.President Barack Obama’s Waters of the United States rule had defined which streams and wetlands are protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act from pollutants including pesticides, fertilizers and mine waste Farmers and industry groups had said the rule went too far, impeding their operations by extending restrictions to small, un-navigable waters Environmentalists say the move would leave millions of Americans with less safe drinking water and allow damage of wetlands that prevent flooding, filter pollutants and provide habitat for a multitude of fish, waterfowl and other wildlife RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 2 Next Donald Trump says John Bolton ‘was holding me back’ on Cuba Donald Trump hints at support for major tax cut he. 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Kevin Cramer of North Dakota says the Obama rule was ‘an unconstitutional power grab that did nothing to advance good water management ‘The question of which waters are covered under the Clean Water Act has inspired decades of lawsuits and congressional debate A sharply divided Supreme Court in 2006 produced three differing opinions, leading the Obama administration to craft its rule It provided federal oversight to upstream tributaries and headwaters, including wetlands, ponds, lakes and streams that can affect the quality of navigable waters The regulation drew quick legal challenges. Courts prevented it from taking effect in parts of the U S.Betsy Southerland, who was director of science and technology in EPA’s Office of Water during the Obama administration, said repealing its regulation would create further regulatory confusion ‘This repeal is a victory for land developers, oil and gas drillers and miners who will exploit that ambiguity to dredge and fill small streams and wetlands that were protected from destruction by the 2015 rule because of their critical impact on national water quality,’ Southerland said      

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