Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Trump administration to revoke Obama-era water protection rule, officials say

The Susquehanna River flows through central Pennsylvania. The EPA is pointed to announce plans to scrap the Obama-era definition of what qualifies as EPA to Begin Phasing Out Animal Testing and Funding Studies for More Humane Research Methods
Sandra Phillips | 13 September, 2019, 10:13

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced a plan to scale back Obama-era water pollution regulations that critics including the state of OH had attacked as overly broad.

The backstory: Before 2015, the EPA decided case-by-case whether individual streams or wetlands had significant impacts on downstream rivers and were therefore subject to federal clean water standards.

Today the Trump administration is expected to repeal an Obama-era clean water regulation that had limited the amount of pollution and chemicals in our nation's bodies of water.

Now that the Waters of the US rule has been formally repealed, the Trump administration is expected to reveal a replacement rule.

The widely anticipated move to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, known as WOTUS, is part of a broader effort by President Donald Trump to roll back environmental regulations to boost industry.

Wheeler added that the EPA's new definition "will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, home builders, and developers nationwide".

"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. Democrats defended it as necessary to ensure waterways remained pollution-free.

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Supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party are being bused from all over the country to go to the stadium ceremonies. That's the decision of the whole family", his nephew Leo Mugabe told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Multiple environmental groups said they will file legal challenges to the planned repeal. "It doesn't settle the dispute". They say a new definition would be finalized in the winter. "If there's not a rule, that's not helpful to the business community".

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a statement Thursday saying the change is illegal and that it will be challenged in court.

Environmentalists contend many of those smaller, seemingly isolated waters are tributaries of the larger waterways and can have a significant effect on their quality.

Two EPA officials told the Associated Press that the agency would announce the plan on Thursday after years of controversy surrounding the regulation. "This repeal will not go unchallenged. We are confident that this unprecedented rollback of the Clean Water Act will be struck down by the courts".

Glennon and Southerland agree that strategies to reach a final decision on the longstanding debate have not been working. Among the dozens already reversed: easing rules on practices such as curbing methane emissions from drilling operations and holding oil and gas companies responsible for killing birds that get ensnared in their rigs' waste pits. In the case of WOTUS, he says, that took the form of wetlands permits. United States, the Supreme Court's four most conservative justices at the time offered a constrained view that only "navigable waters" met this test. Getting a yes or no ruling from the Supreme Court wouldn't satisfy all the stakeholders.

"Nothing in the Obama regulations that came out prevented me from farming the way I was previously farming", she said.

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