Sunday, 22 October, 2017

EPA moves to rescind Obama's Clean Water Rule

Clean getaway Environmentalists want no part of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule Clean getaway Environmentalists want no part of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule
Edmund Collier | 28 June, 2017, 02:54

"Kansans have argued for years that the Obama administration's WOTUS Rule was an unlawful overreach by the federal government that invaded state authority and offended private property rights".

"We are hopeful the EPA will keep in mind the uniqueness of each state and work with the states rather than continuing to dictate rules with the goal of controlling property rights", Hamilton continued.

The WOTUS rule expanded the definition of U.S. waterways under the "Clean Water Act", giving EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies unprecedented authority to regulate streams, wetlands, ponds, ditches, and other non-navigable waterways. Today's announcement is the next step in that process. When it is completed, the agencies said, they will undergo a broader review of which waters should fall under federal jurisdiction.

"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses", said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Keith Johnston, managing attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center's Birmingham office, said his organization was committed to fighting any weakening of the Clean Water Act by the Trump Administration. His counterpart on the House Ag Committee, Michael Conaway, reacted similarly, "WOTUS has never been about clean water, it was about feeding the Obama EPA's insatiable appetite for power".

The EPA and the Army Corps said dismantling the Obama rule would not change existing practices because the measure has been stayed by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in response to opponents' lawsuits. "But just like the attacks on efforts to tackle climate change and the proposed rollback of our national monuments, and so much more, the Trump administration will face fierce opposition".

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The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972 and last amended in 1987, is meant to protect the nation's waters from pollution.

Pruitt, who was Oklahoma's attorney general when the rule was implemented, sued the EPA over the rule along with several other state attorneys general, including Alabama's Luther Strange, now in the U.S. Senate. It's unclear what exactly happens to these legal challenges if the EPA eliminates the rule, but some legal experts told BuzzFeed News they would likely disappear.

"We (North Dakota) really are the last frontier, so to speak, when it comes to small bodies of water - be it sloughs or temporary poolings of water in our field", Lies said.

"I commend the Trump administration for eradicating this damaging rule and standing up for rural America".

"We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt and his team to craft a rule that protects public health and the environment, while giving clarity and certainty to our nation's farmers and job creators", he said.

In his executive order, Trump instructed the agencies to redesign the rule in keeping with a 2006 opinion by the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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