Monday, 21 January, 2019

Trump administration moves to withdraw clean-water rule

Clean getaway Environmentalists want no part of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule Clean getaway Environmentalists want no part of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule
Alfredo Watts | 28 June, 2017, 02:53

Today, Donald Trump's EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, announced that he will be repealing the 2015 Clean Water Rule that provided vital clean water protections against risky pollution contaminating America's waterways and drinking water supplies. "Whether it's Marlow from Ruby Valley or Darryl from Yerington, Nevadans around the state have told me that they fear the WOTUS rule provides federal agencies with nearly unlimited authority to regulate their farms and ranches at their own discretion", said Heller.

The 2015 regulation, known as the Waters of the USA rule, sought to settle a debate over which waterways are covered under the Clean Water Act, which has dragged on for years and remained murky despite two Supreme Court rulings. "Today, we are pleased that the EPA took the first step to repeal the flawed WOTUS rule". The agencies described a withdrawal process as an interim step and promised a broader review of which waters should fall under federal jurisdiction.

The Obama administration established the Clean Water Rule, extending the protections of the Clean Water Act to small streams. It was a federal land grab created to put a straightjacket on farming and private businesses across this nation.

"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses", EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said.

"In yet another clear signal that the Trump administration cares little for the health and safety of communities across the United States, the EPA is reportedly issuing a proposed rule to undo the Clean Water Rule that was enacted under Obama's last term", said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch.

But it was controversial from the start, with accusations that it would give the federal government control over large swaths of the country, like dry land and puddles. "That's why our federal courts blocked it from going into effect for the past two years", President Duvall continued.

Under the Obama interpretation, those waters are protected.

"Today's announcement brings new hope for Alabama's producers and I am proud to continue my work with an EPA that understands its role, and an administration that is committed to helping American small businesses thrive". "But just like the attacks on efforts to tackle climate change and the proposed rollback of our national monuments, and so much more, the Trump administration will face fierce opposition".

"Thank you to President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for delivering on your promise to roll back this job-killing regulation", said Governor Ricketts. "Tennessee has ample expertise to regulate natural resources within its borders and to promote environmental health".

Once the rule is filed with the Federal Register, there will be a standard public review and commenting period.

WOTUS was unpopular with ag groups nationwide, but North Dakota ag producers were particularly critical of it. Sloughs, potholes and other small, often temporary bodies of water are common in the state, and North Dakota farmers anxious about the impact of WOTUS.