Energy & Environment

Trump will seek to weaken Obama-era wetlands protections: report

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The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to announce rollbacks of wetland protections that were put in place during former President Obama’s presidency, according to The New York Times.

The plan that Trump will unveil will scale back federal clean water rules that are in place to protect wetlands and streams across the country, the Times reported.

{mosads}The Times also reported that Trump will promote his plan as reversing federal regulations that violate the rights of farmers, landowners and real estate developers.

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency declined comment about the plan to the Times.

The new plan will work as a replacement to an Obama-era regulation called the Waters of the United States, or the Clean Water Rule, which was developed under the authority of the 1972 Clean Water Act,  the Times reported.

The regulation defines which waterways are protected by the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Obama-era regulation advanced on protections first put in place by former President George H.W. Bush. Critics say the regulation, which says that small waterways should be protected in addition to large bodies of water, extends too far and puts too much land under federal oversight.

Trump’s new plan will keep protections in place for large bodies of water as well as rivers that run into them and wetlands that are adjacent to them. But it will roll back regulations for streams where water runs only during or after rainfall as well as for wetlands not adjacent to major bodies of water, according to the Times.

It will be the latest development in the Trump administration’s long-running quest to weaken the Obama-era regulation. 

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement in June that “farmers, ranchers, landowners, and other stakeholders are counting on EPA to listen to their input when it comes to defining ‘waters of the United States.'”

Tags Clean Water Rule Scott Pruitt United States Environmental Protection Agency Waters of the United States

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