Today, September 12, the Trump administration is expected to complete the repeal of an Obama-era clean water regulation, loosening the rules on the use of chemicals near water sources.
The measure, known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, was introduced in 2015. It ensured Clean Water Act (CWA) programs were more precisely defined and protected, that tributaries and adjacent waters under federal jurisdiction are covered by the same act, and limited the use of chemicals near bodies of water.
The rule was designed to protect millions of acres of wetlands, as well as thousands of miles of streams and rivers across America, to make sure they were free from polluting chemicals, such as pesticides used in agriculture, and chemicals used in construction sites.
The rollback of the rule has been a long-held plan of Trumps, with the president signing an executive order directing federal agencies to repeal and replace it early on in his administration, The New York Times reports.
Trump reportedly called Obamas establishment of the rule a federal land-grab, and accused it of impinging on the rights of farmers, landowners and real estate developers.
His decision to repeal the Obama-era rule has caused major concerns, with environmentalists calling it an assault on protecting Americas streams and wetlands, despite Trump saying the US has crystal clean water and air earlier this year, as per POLITICO.
The repeal is expected to take effect in a matter of weeks, after its announced at the headquarters of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who penned the Obama-era rule, are then expected to implement a looser, replacement rule by the end of the year.
Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:
With many of our cities and towns living with unsafe drinking water, now is not the time to cut back on clean water enforcement.
We need more, not less, protection for clean water.
Others, however, welcomed the looRead More – Source