Attack on Clean Water Rule

Mandy Carr
March 3, 2017

Democrats and progressive groups were appalled that President Donald Trump failed to mention climate change in his first major speech to Congress.

The Clean Water Rule was finalized in 2015 as a way to clarify confusion over parts of the Clean Water Act, which was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1972.

Trump rallied against what he saw as excessive regulation and the overreach of the federal government during his campaign for the presidency.

It would have defined dried-up ditches and washes in Arizona as "waters of the United States", which would require developers to obtain permits not only resulting in more costs, but also possibly delaying projects while they wait for federal permitting, Johnson explained. "While we recognize this order will not immediately repeal the rule, it will provide adequate space for these federal agencies to engage state and local governments to craft an alternative solution that both fits within the boundaries prescribed in the Act and serves the best interests of the environment and key stakeholders". A federal appeals court in October 2015 issued a stay preventing the rule's implementation nationwide.

EWG found that more than one-third of the nation's people get at least some of their drinking water from small streams, and more than 72 million Americans in 1,033 counties rely on small streams for more than half of their water.

In a speech given after he signed the direction, Trump called the rule "one of the worst examples of federal regulation", and said, "It has truly run amuck and is one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land".

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"It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible and extremely hard to implement", said National Corn Growers Association president Wesley Spurlock.

"It's been a disaster", he went on, claiming that the EPA had decided it could regulate "nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land or any place else that they decide". The rule protects prairie potholes, Carolina and Delmarva bays, pocosins, western vernal pools in California, and Texas coastal prairie wetlands when they impact downstream waters.

Trump's executive order directs the Justice Department to ask a federal court to put legal challenges to the rule on hold as the administration conducts its review, a senior official said.

"Any effort to replace this illegal rule with common-sense regulations will be welcome and is sorely needed", DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said after Trump's order.

President Trump said that he is "paving the way for the elimination" of the CWR with the passing of his Executive Order.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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