Story at a glance

  • The Trump administration is rolling back protections for some bodies of water.
  • Streams, some rivers and wetlands will have less protections against pollution and other threats.
  • The new EPA rule was published in the federal register on April 21.

The Trump administration published a final rule Tuesday rolling back Obama-era environmental protections. 

The final rule, written by the Engineers Corps and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), redefines the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act, passed under President Obama in 2015. The changes effectively remove limits on the amount of pollution that can be dumped into small streams and wetlands. The L.A. Times reports 81 percent of streams in the Southwest would lose protections. 

Environmental groups criticized the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which was proposed in December 2018, after it was finalized at the end of 2019. The final version is called The Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

ADVERTISEMENT

Now, the National Wildlife Federation is voicing their opposition, saying they intend to fight the rule.   


America is changing by the minute. Add Changing America to your Facebook and Twitter feeds to stay informed on the latest news and smartest insights.


“Since the Administration refuses to protect our waters, we intend to fight this illegal rule with all tools available. We cannot afford to further put our public health at risk or lose protections for half of our remaining wetlands. It’s outrageous, but unsurprising, that this rule would come out just in time for Earth Day,” said Jim Murphy, director of legal advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation, in a release.  

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has also announced plans to sue the Trump administration over the rollback, arguing leaders failed to consider how it would impact endangered species.


BREAKING NEWS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IN AMERICA

MAJOR CORONAVIRUS COMPUTER MODEL SAYS SOME US STATES CAN LOOSEN RESTRICTIONS BY MAY 4

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPERTS: 90 PERCENT OF US CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED

HERE'S WHEN THE CORONAVIRUS WILL PEAK IN YOUR STATE

PROTESTS AGAINST LOCKDOWN ORDERS GAIN SUPPORT FROM THE RIGHT

THESE ARE THE JOBS MOST AT RISK FROM CORONAVIRUS 


“As we wrestle with one of the country’s greatest public health crises, the need for strong protections to ensure safe and clean water for people, communities, and wildlife could not be clearer. This ill-advised rule goes in the opposite direction, threatening public drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat, and opportunity for safe recreation,” Murphy said. 

In the EPA summary, the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense and EPA claim the rule maintains federal authority over the nation's waters while preserving the states' primary authority over land and water resources. 

"This final definition increases the predictability and consistency of Clean Water Act programs by clarifying the scope of ‘waters of the United States’ federally regulated under the Act," reads the document.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

COUNTRIES LED BY WOMEN HAVE FARED BETTER AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS. WHY?

FAUCI PREDICTS ANOTHER CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN THE FALL WITH A 'VERY DIFFERENT' OUTCOME

BILL GATES IS NOW THE MAIN TARGET CORONAVIRUS CONSPIRACY THEORIES

HERE ARE THE 6 WAYS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC COULD END

ADVERTISEMENT

CAN YOU GET CORONAVIRUS TWICE?

US MAY HAVE TO KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING UNTIL 2022, NEW STUDY SAYS


 

Published on Apr 21, 2020