Friday, 26 February, 2021


State Dept. Of Environmental Management Applauds Repeal Of Obama-Era Water Rule

State Dept. Of Environmental Management Applauds Repeal Of Obama-Era Water Rule State Dept. Of Environmental Management Applauds Repeal Of Obama-Era Water Rule
Kristine Garrett | 13 September, 2019, 10:17

An analysis by the Center estimates that the proposal would cut Clean Water Act protections for more than 3,000 watersheds in the western United States and accelerate the extinction of more than 75 endangered species, from steelhead trout to California tiger salamanders.

The Trump administration is expected to complete this week rollback of clean water rules adopted by the Obama administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the repeal of the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule that extended federal authority and protections to streams and wetlands.

Wheeler described the 2015 policy as "overreach" and said its next iteration will "provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, home builders and developers nationwide". They argue that because the nation's water systems are interconnected, some across state lines, federal regulation is required to protect sources of drinking water and the wildlife that depend on them. Democrats defended it as necessary to ensure waterways remained pollution-free.

Earthjustice, an environmental legal group that has sued the EPA over several environmental regulatory changes, said they plan to continue to maintain pressure on the current administration. "It doesn't settle the dispute".

Wheeler said regulators had gone far beyond the intent of Congress under the 1972 clean water law.

"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. "If there's not a rule, that's not helpful to the business community".

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an worldwide nonprofit environmental organization called it "irresponsible" because animal testing helps scientists discover life-saving treatments and identify chemicals that could harm individuals and the environment.

Experts and environmental groups have raised concerns that the repeal could threaten wetlands in coastal areas like SC that provide protection from flooding and provide habitat for wildlife, and could result in chemicals or waste from agriculture or manufacturing flowing from dry creek beds into major waterways during rain. "This repeal will not go unchallenged".

The question of which waters are covered under the Clean Water Act has inspired decades of lawsuits and congressional debate.

Glennon and Southerland agree that strategies to reach a final decision on the longstanding debate have not been working. "We are going to get caught in a position where we won't really be able to regulate chemicals in the US", University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental health scientist Laura Vandenberg says to Nature.

As part of an effort begun only minutes after Donald Trump took office in 2017, the Trump administration today released its final rule repealing the Clean Water Rule.

"It can't be much longer before the Supreme Court decides to hear a case from one of the circuits", Glennon says.

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