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Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Pelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' MORE (D-Calif.) blasted the Trump administration over its Thursday rollback to protections for streams and other smaller bodies of water, saying that the new rule is an "outrageous assault" on clean water regulations. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled its Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which leaves much environmental regulation to state and local authorities. It replaces an already-repealed rule implemented by the the Obama administration that expanded the types of waterways protected by federal law. 

“The Trump Administration’s new Dirty Water Rule is an outrageous assault on the clean water that millions of Californians and Americans across the country rely on to grow our food, preserve our diverse ecosystems and protect the health of our children and families," Pelosi said in a statement.

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"This shameful policy will give polluters free rein to dump pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals directly into waters, threatening the drinking water of 117 million Americans and setting us back decades in our work to clean and protect our nation’s vital water systems," she added. 

Other Democrats as well as environmental groups joined Pelosi in condemning the change, while many Republicans praised it. 

“The need for clean water is as basic as it is universal. Yet the Trump administration has just given polluters a free pass to contaminate groundwater, destroy streams and wetlands and put our water at risk," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune in a statement. 

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE (R-Ariz.) in a statement called the Obama administration's older rule an "egregious" example of "federal overreach."

"The rule gave unprecedented power to bureaucrats in D.C. at the expense of farmers, ranchers, small business owners and all Americans," Gosar said. "Today’s announcement will provide regulatory certainty, eliminate federal overreach and balance federal protection of our Nation’s waters while empowering state autonomy over their resources."