Trump administration to drop Obama-era water protection rule

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The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it will repeal an Obama-era clean water regulation protecting waterways and wetlands.

"I look forward to working with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to preserve the federal-state partnership in enforcing the Clean Water Act". "We are confident that this unprecedented rollback of the Clean Water Act will be struck down by the courts".

"The cumulative effect of all these wetlands being lost and all these headwater streams being destroyed is going to have an enormous negative impact on all the waters we do use for drinking and recreation", Southerland said.

WASHINGTON -Today the Trump administration will finalize its plan to repeal critical safeguards that prohibit the dumping of industrial and agricultural pollution into sensitive waterways that provide tap water for more than 117 million Americans. Braun has introduced a bill which would define the limits of federal clean-water jurisdiction by law, not executive-branch regulation. "The EPA is abdicating its mission to protect our environment and our health".

A provocative allegation: "The U.S. government concluded within the last two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cell-phone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, D.C., according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter". "Many Americans balked at this idea, and rightfully so".

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a statement Thursday saying the change is illegal and that it will be challenged in court.

"The Obama-era WOTUS Rule was an abysmal failure and represented one of the most egregious examples of federal overreach in my lifetime", said U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, the caucus' chairman.

As NPR reported when the repeal process was resumed late a year ago, "Under EPA's proposal, the only wetlands that will be federally protected are those that are adjacent to a major body of water, or ones that are connected to a major waterway by surface water".

But Don Parrish, congressional relations director for the American Farm Bureau Federation, says the 2015 regulation that extended federal protection to many US wetlands and waterways created uncertainty about where farmers could cultivate land.

But Laura DeYoung, who runs a small sheep farm near Peninsula, Ohio, said she favored federal oversight to protect Lake Erie, where agricultural phosphorus runoff is blamed for large algae blooms. President Trump made a promise to farmers across the nation and I applaud him for keeping it by repealing these outrageous regulations.

Critics argue rolling back the rules will result in conversion of wetlands and headwaters, possibly threatening the nation's water supply and damaging wildlife habitats. Those rulings severely undermined federal protections for small streams, headwater streams and wetlands, threatening clean drinking water sources and rivers nationwide. Thursday's action extended the refutation to the remaining 22 states and returned standards to 1986 levels.

Farmers, miners, developers, and oil and gas companies also weren't fans.

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