Trump Finally Comes for the 'Waters of the United States' Rule
"The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing federal pollution protections for rivers, streams and wetlands," reports Scott Neuman.
The Obama-era rule was finalized in 2015 after years of controversy, but needed until 2018 to clear a federal judge. "The Obama-era executive action, which broadened the definition of 'waters of the United States,' or WOTUS, applied to about 60% of U.S. waterways," explains Neuman. "It aimed to bring clarity to decades of political and legal debate over which waters should qualify."
As noted by Neuman, the rule is opposed by farmers, builders, mining companies. In 2015, Planetizen noted the opposition of the golf and agriculture industries to WOTUS. According to Neuman, the Environmental Protection Agency's own scientist support the rule—for reasons exemplified by the case of Arizona, as detailed in an article
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the rule change today at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. The announcements comes a few months after Wheeler announced a repeal of another Obama-era clean water rule that limited the amount of pollutants that can be released into streams.