Trump administration to revoke water protection rule

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks to EPA staff in Washington in a file

Over the years, Gibbs has introduced legislation to repeal the rule and filed legal briefs to support lawsuits to overturn it.

"It creates a problem of course when the federal government is establishing standards that are weaker than what states would like", says Kirkwood.

WOTUS was already on hold in IN, one of 27 states where federal courts had blocked it as an intrusion on state authority.

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Though we don't know exact numbers, it's estimated that hundreds of thousands of animals are killed every year to test chemicals and pesticides regulated by the EPA.

Denying them federal protection would leave millions of Americans with less safe drinking water and allow damage of wetlands that prevent flooding, filter pollutants and provide habitat for a multitude of fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, they said. America's large rivers, lakes and reservoirs may capture more attention, but they are all the product of the waters that feed them.

"This will mean that miners can do mountaintop removal and fill in streams, pipelines can cut across wetlands, land developers can build on wetlands without a permit", Southerland said.

The EPA proposed replacing the rule in December following an executive order from President Donald Trump.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said that the EPA and the US Army would reinstate water rules that were issued in the 1980s, and would begin re-defining which waterways can be regulated, a task to be completed by this winter.

Many businesses have opposed the WOTUS rule, arguing that it was overly broad.

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In a 2006 decision, Rapanos v. The question of what water is covered has been a matter of litigation, with conservatives favoring applying it to navigable waters only.

"The Obama-era WOTUS Rule was an abysmal failure and represented one of the most egregious examples of federal overreach in my lifetime", said U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, the caucus' chairman.

The Humane Society International says, "We are excited to see the EPA reinforce its commitment with today's pathbreaking announcement, which heralds a new era for animals in laboratories".

Glennon says that "whatever the rule is, it always gets challenged".

"We will finalize all of our top priorities", Wheeler said. The Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 was able to overturn several of President Barack Obama's last environmental acts that way, sending the bills to Trump for his signature.

"The President's Dirty Water Rule will pollute and poison the clean drinking water of tens of millions of families and communities".

"I'm not in a rush to meet artificial deadlines", he said. In addition, it is possible that the rule never takes effect. "So we are at a point where we need more water protections, not fewer", said Moran. "Like any rushed efforts, they are likely to make mistakes that will be challenged and overturned in court".

On a recent evening in Hugo, Minnesota, Fran Miron looked out over the 800-acre farm that his family has maintained for four generations and explained why he welcomes the Trump administration's latest rollback.

"I think at this point it's a disaster", she says.

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