Donald Trump Wants To Kill Protections For Small Streams

The much-maligned Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule that took shape in the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama Administration in 2015 is now coming under more political scrutiny.

The executive order is one piece of a complicated mosaic that the president is using to dismantle the environmental agenda.

Environmental groups have previously vowed to challenge any rollback in federal water rules. "The WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction and control over private lands". They worry it would expand federal oversight to waterways as small as streams, drainage ditches or even farmland that floods part of the year.That would require federal approval for many local infrastructure projects.

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While, the New York Times notes, environmentalists have praised the rule, critics of WOTUS-including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers, oil and gas companies, golf-course owners and other business interests-have questioned the rule, contending that it may stifle economic growth and intrude on property rights. The Clean Water Act empowers the federal government to protect the navigable waters of the United States, such as large rivers and lakes.

"Now, with a nationwide stay, all 50 states' regulatory agencies will no longer face the cost and uncertainty created by preparing for implementation of a new rule that awaits judicial determination of its legality, and which may never come to pass", Flynn said.

But Lehman said we shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves about Trump's executive directive.

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Trump was welcomed to the signing ceremony by applause from a group of farmers, home builders, county commissioners and lawmakers he had invited to the White House for the occasion.

The bipartisan bill Heitkamp helped introduced, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, passed in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works but fell two votes short of moving to the Senate floor. Yesterday by Executive Order President Trump ordered a review of WOTUS.

"A few years ago the EPA decided that navigable waters can mean almost every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land or anywhere else that they decide".

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"A few years ago the EPA decided that navigable waters can mean almost every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land or any place else they decide". But industry and agribusiness have been pushing for years to roll back the rule and protect only the biggest streams and rivers - and now they've found a friend in the Trump administration.

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