Federal judge overturns Trump rule governing water pollution

“If you look at a watershed, especially in the Southwest, you have all these ephemeral tributaries and streams that are connected tog...


“If you look at a watershed, especially in the Southwest, you have all these ephemeral tributaries and streams that are connected together like capillaries,” Gillespie said. “And the Trump rule has hurt us all because we’re all downstream from these waters. The Trump rule was very extreme in removing the protections on the waters. “

Farm and construction groups are evaluating an appeal.

“This move casts uncertainty on farmers and ranchers across the country and threatens the progress they have made to responsibly manage water and natural resources,” said Zippy Duvall, president of American Farm Federation Office. “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 “are evaluating the court’s decision at this time.”

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

Mr. Trump repealed the policy in 2019, calling it “one of the most ridiculous regulations of all” and saying its repeal has made farmers cry in gratitude. A year later, the EPA finalized its replacement policy, known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which removed protections from more than half of the nation’s wetlands and hundreds of thousands of miles of upland waterways by narrowing the definition of what constitutes “United States water” that deserves federal protection.

With Trump and Obama’s rules off the books, the nation’s waters are now protected by a 1986 rule, which environmentalists, farmers and developers have lamented as so contradictory and poorly drafted that it has resulted in thousands of water pollution legal disputes that dragged on for years.

“It was horribly confusing,” said Mark Ryan, a former EPA lawyer. “It took a very complicated and lengthy process” to determine whether water bodies qualified for federal pollution protection.

This summer, Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the EPA, announced his intention to start developing a new water protection rule that could be completed by next year.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Federal judge overturns Trump rule governing water pollution
Federal judge overturns Trump rule governing water pollution
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