Trump Sends WOTUS Back for Review

Janie Parker
March 3, 2017

Nebraska farmers who felt beleaguered by environmental regulations passed under former President Barack Obama cheered Tuesday as President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back his predecessor's signature clean water rule.

The order, which is available for review at www.whitehouse.gov, is meant to examine the definitions of the "Waters of the United States Rule", which opponents to the order argue is the lifeblood to protect water from pollution. The agencies finalized the rule in 2015, but it was blocked by a federal appeals court and faces further legal challenges. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which jointly administer WOTUS, will have to justify their findings with scientific research.

That is why more than 800,000 Americans - including more than 1,000 business owners, local officials, farmers, and health professionals - all supported the historic clean water rule. Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have said they will sue to fight any attempt by the Trump administration to roll back the rule. "It's been a disaster", Trump said during the executive order's signing, according to USA Today. The order also establishes a President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs but leaves much of the budgeting and administration of the initiative for the Department of Education.

A senior administration official said the White House believes the move will make the initiative a greater priority. Scalia wrote a plurality opinion in a split decision - an opinion that would have reduced the scope of the act by defining "waters of the United States" as covering only permanent, standing or continuous flowing bodies of water.

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"Everyone wants clean water but the bureaucrats at the EPA were out-of-control, writing new laws to regulate puddles and ditches from Washington". (WOTUS) could take months or even years since the rule will have to go through the public comment period. Lightfoot said Trump could use Congress to fully block WOTUS if the courts lift the stay on the rule. But the environmental group the Sierra Club said Trump's rhetoric and policies show that he "does not care about our clean air, clean water, or a changing climate threatening American communities".

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

"This proposed rule as written would have potentially increased the number of manmade, county-owned ditches that come under federal jurisdiction", Johnson said.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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