Donald Trump Wants To Kill Protections For Small Streams

Posted March 01, 2017

"The executive order could potentially remove the protections of our headwater streams and wetlands that we rely on for clean drinking water and wildlife habitat".

"The EPA regulations were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands", Trump said at the White House.

"President Donald Trump's decision today to roll back the controversial Waters of the USA regulation is a welcome development for the nation's dairy farmers, who have been concerned by the continuing lack of clarity and certainty generated by this policy", Jim Mulhern, NMPF president, said in a release. But the regulation broadened that to include, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation.

Trump ordered federal agencies to make sure "waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty" and respecting the role of states and Congress.

The order instructs both departments to formally reconsider the Water of the United States rule or WOTUS.

"Is it it going to announce what might be the lawful scope of the Clean Water Act", Chung said. Two courts have already ruled that it is likely that the rule is illegal and have issued a temporary halt to its implementation.

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But the Obama-era rule - commonly known as the Waters of the United States rule - has created controversy among groups like the American Farm Bureau.

More than a dozen states, including OH, sued the federal government over the rule and put its enforcement on hold during the legal challenges.

"Any effort to replace this illegal rule with common-sense regulations will be welcome and is sorely needed", DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said after Trump's order. The action also bolstered the position of Trump's new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, who wishes to dismantle the rule and sued the Obama administration over it in 2015 while serving as the attorney general of Oklahoma.

"Then it could have the effect of ending the current round of litigation", he said. That jurisdiction - based on several U.S. Supreme Court decisions - had included "navigable" waters and waters with a significant hydrologic connection to navigable waters.

"And if the Trump Administration rescinds the existing WOTUS and promulgates a replacement, that action will be subject to a challenge in the courts", Thaddeus Lightfoot, a partner at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said in an emailed statement.

"Dismantling these clean water protections will put safe drinking water at risk without providing businesses the certainty and clarity they need while wasting taxpayer money on new, polluter-friendly regulation", added League of Conservation Voters legislative representative Madeleine Foote.