Trump administration backs dirtier water; Arkansas Republicans will cheer

EPA to Begin Phasing Out Animal Testing and Funding Studies for More Humane Research Methods

EPA to Begin Phasing Out Animal Testing and Funding Studies for More Humane Research Methods

"This final rule reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Rule, which is more familiar to the agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public while the agencies engage in a second rulemaking to revise the definition of 'waters of the United States'".

"The cumulative effect of all these wetlands being lost and all these headwater streams being destroyed is going to have an enormous negative impact on all the waters we do use for drinking and recreation", Southerland said.

Wheeler, who said the administration will finalize a new definition for which water bodies deserve federal protection within a matter of months, said the agency is seeking to end any lingering uncertainty and return more oversight to individual states.

Scalia's opinion lay dormant for over a decade, but the Trump Administration plans to adopt it this week, effectively undermining the Clean Water Act without having to repeal it.

Waters that the proposed rule would keep from federal regulations included most ditches, groundwater, stormwater control facilities and waste treatment systems. United States, 547 USA 715 (2006) (Rapanos) the Supreme Court took up the question of the proper test for determining if a small stream or wetland was "jurisdictional" under the Clean Water Act.

The rule, put in place in 2015, defined which bodies of water are protected under the federal Clean Water Act. "The federal government needs to step up its efforts to protect our drinking water, not scale back the rules for polluters". Many said they would not sit idly by. "We've seen this time and again, particularly when it comes to the WOTUS rule", he said in a statement.

"The 2015 rule meant that more businesses and landowners across the USA would need to obtain a federal permit to exercise control over their own property, a process that can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take months or even years to complete", he said.

Edward's group is not alone in that challenge. "They are imposing a chaotic case-by-case program to replace clear, bright-line rules", said Blan Holman, an expert on water regulations with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

"We're already involved in litigation and advocacy on these issues", said Anna Sewell, a senior attorney with Earthjustice.

"The EPA is no longer in the business of safeguarding our resources and protecting us from pollution, but is openly working to advance the agenda of those who profit from fouling our water and threatening our health", he said. "With millions from New Jersey to California lacking access to safe drinking water, and with toxic algae from North Carolina to OR threatening public health and our pets, now is not the time to create more loopholes for polluters". The executive order followed the legal view of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which was not adopted by the Supreme Court.

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