Biden Administration Moves to Reverse Trump Rollbacks of Clean Water Act

Biden Administration Moves to Reverse Trump Rollbacks of Clean Water Act

One more of the Trump administration’s rollbacks will meet its demise as EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the Biden administration are planning to reinstate protections for many marshes, streams, and wetlands — expanding again the coverage of the Clean Water Act under the “Waters of the U.S.” or “WOTUS” rule. 

Why This Matters: Since the late 1700s, 221 million acres of wetlands have been drained in the U.S. for agricultural use. This development has had severe consequences, including fertilizer and pollution runoff threatening drinking water for millions of people.

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Trump Administration OKs Draining the Swamp — The Okefenokee Swamp

Trump Administration OKs Draining the Swamp — The Okefenokee Swamp

Companies have been trying to mine near Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge for decades without success, but last August the Army Corps of Engineers determined that now it needs no federal Clean Water Act permit because there are no water bodies that are covered by the law that will be impacted. 

Why This Matters:  The president of Twin Pines claims that the mining operation won’t affect the swamp.

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Trump’s Law and Order Presidency Doesn’t Reach Environmental Criminals

Trump’s Law and Order Presidency Doesn’t Reach Environmental Criminals

Environmental enforcement actions — criminal and civil cases against polluters — have dropped dramatically during the Trump administration, according to a new study out of the University of Michigan Law School.

Why this Matters:  So much for the “law and order” President.  President Trump and the Attorney General may want to prosecute protesters, but big corporations that violate pollution laws and risk the public’s health — not so much.

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The Failings of Trump’s Navigable Waters Rule Laid Bare

The Failings of Trump’s Navigable Waters Rule Laid Bare

By William Buzbee On Thursday, Science magazine published an article [abstract available, article itself behind paywall] I co-authored with a number of distinguished environmental science professors from around the country. In the article, we dissect President Trump’s newly implemented navigable waters rule and show the remarkable disregard for science that the Trump administration displayed in […]

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Clean Water Protections Under President Trump Continue to Be Eroded

Clean Water Protections Under President Trump Continue to Be Eroded

The Trump Administration’s severe rollback of the Clean Water Act’s coverage went into effect yesterday with numerous non-profits and states vowing litigation, and Colorado has already successfully pushed back implementing the new rule.  In addition, last week the administration decided not to regulate a chemical used in rocket fuel that has been linked to developmental damage ans the Massachusetts state Department of Environmental Protection failed to send federal regulators reports about the safety of watersheds required by the Act, according to the state auditor.

Why This Matters:  There is not much left of the Clean Water Act with the Trump Administration at the helm of the so-called Environmental Protection Agency.

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EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday issued another rule dealing a blow to 40 years of settled law on the authority of states and tribes under the Clean Water Act to block fossil fuel projects such as natural gas pipelines and coal terminals that could pollute state waterways.

Why This Matters:  The EPA is turning the Clean Water Act on its head and undercutting states and tribes that are protecting the clean water and the health of their citizens.

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