Federal Judge Drops Trump Rule Governing Water Pollution


“If you look at a watershed, especially in the Southwest, you have all these tributaries and short-lived rivers connected together like capillaries,” said Mr Gillespie. “And the Trump rule has hurt us all because we’re all down those waters. The Trump rule was too extreme in removing the guards from the waters.”

Agriculture and construction groups are weighing an objection.

“This decision creates uncertainty for farmers and ranchers across the country and threatens the progress they are making in responsibly managing water and natural resources,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We are reviewing the decision to determine our next course of action.”

Kerry Lynch, spokesperson for the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, said her group was disappointed with the decision and was “currently evaluating the court’s decision.”

The Trump rule was a revision of an earlier rule announced by the Obama administration in 2015. United States Waters. This rule used the authority of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to protect about 60 percent of the nation’s waterways, including large bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River, and Puget Sound, as well as smaller rivers, wetlands, seasonal streams. and streams that run temporarily underground.

Mr Trump repealed the policy in 2019, calling it “one of the most ridiculous regulations” and claimed that its repeal made farmers cry with gratitude. A year later, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a replacement policy known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, narrowing the definition of “water” and removing the protections of more than half the nation’s wetlands and hundreds of thousands of kilometers of high streams. United States” deserves federal protection.

With rules both Trump and Obama outlawed, the nation’s waters are now protected by the 1986 rule; environmentalists, farmers and developers complained that the rule was contradictory and poorly written, leading to thousands of legal disputes over water pollution. over the years.

“It was terribly confusing,” said Mark Ryan, a former EPA attorney. Determining whether bodies of water were eligible for federal protection from pollution “required a very complex, time-consuming process.”

This summer, EPA administrator Michael S. Regan announced plans to begin drafting a new water protection rule that could be completed by next year.


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