EPA Makes Rollback Of Clean Water Rules Official, Repealing 2015 Protections

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 13, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday announced the repeal of a controversial Obama-era rule on regulating water under the Clean Water Act. "The EPA is abdicating its mission to protect our environment and our health".

While Wheeler said the repeal provides regulatory certainty, Glennon says the opposite.

"The EPA is tossing out 50 years of peer-reviewed science and in doing so threatens to undermine the integrity of the Nation's waters that support fish and wildlife", said Doug Austen, executive director of the American Fisheries Society. "It also put more local land-use decisions in the hands of unelected bureaucrats".

"Farmers share the goal of protecting the nation's water, but the 2015 Waters of the United States rule was unreasonable and unworkable", said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher.

He added that it fulfills one of President Donald Trump's "key promises".

As NPR reported when the repeal process was resumed late past year, "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".

"No regulation is ideal, and no rule can accommodate every concern, but the 2015 rule was especially egregious", said Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau - which lobbied for the rule change. "For the first time, we are clearly delineating the difference between federally protected wetlands and state-protected wetlands", he said.

Wheeler, who said the administration will finalize a new definition for which water bodies deserve federal protection within a matter of months, said the agency is seeking to end any lingering uncertainty and return more oversight to individual states.

"I would hope a new administration will come in and do a regulation negotiation process", Southerland says. United States, 547 US 715 (2006) (Rapanos) the Supreme Court took up the question of the proper test for determining if a small stream or wetland was "jurisdictional" under the Clean Water Act. It was effective in 22 states, Washington, D.C., and US territories before Thursday's action.

Former EPA officials who've worked under Republican and Democratic administrations told NBC News that this rule change will only benefit mining industries, oil and gas pipeline corporations and land developers. "We need more - not less - protection for clean water". Millions of Americans drink water directly connected to 234,000 miles of small streams that will now be unprotected as a result of the repeal.

"In an unprecedented power grab, this rule handed federal bureaucrats authority to regulate nearly any water imaginable-creating unnecessary regulatory obstacles for everyone from farmers plowing their land to local governments building ditches for public safety to families building their homes", Bakst argued. To date, it's completed or is working on rollbacks of 84 other environmental rules.

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