President Donald Trump’s administration has put an end to Barack Obama’s crippling water protection policies. Obama’s administration tried to micro-manage every little waterway, from wetlands to shallow runoff streams. That upset farmers, miners and manufacturers alike, without making the water much cleaner.
In 2015, Obama’s administrators came up with a definition of what would fall under the designation as Waters of the United States that was so far reaching, it practically put the water running down your kitchen sink drains and gutter pipes under federal jurisdiction. By repealing Obama’s WOTUS definition, President Trump hopes to boost industry in a big way.
This decision does not mean that factories can now dump whatever they want into the water. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the U.S. Army was ready to roll back water protections to the 1980’s to redefine the coverage. That lets the individual states decide what can go into which waterways. The only difference is the red tape of reporting unnecessary things has been lifted.
“Today’s Step 1 action fulfills a key promise of President Trump and sets the stage for Step 2 – a new WOTUS definition that will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, home builders and developers nationwide,” Wheeler said.
“This final rule reestablishes national consistency across the country,” said R.D. James, assistant secretary of the U.S. Army for civil works. He explains that under Obama, WOTUS was “ambiguous,” covering too many small waterways that you couldn’t keep track of it.
There were enough court decisions accompanying the 2015 rule, he says that “you couldn’t navigate it.” How badly did this stifle those who worked the land and their associated industries?
The Obama rule had been in 22 states, D.C. and U.S. territories while the 1980’s rule was in 27 states. It defined waterways protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act from pesticides, fertilizers and mine waste.
California, showing signs of its Trump Derangement Syndrome, is prepared to defend the Obama Clean Water Act. California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra is ready with another lawsuit if necessary.
Other governors are welcoming the change, such as North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. The rollback, he says, recognizes “states’ ability to manage their own waters.”
“Triggered” environmentalists think those who work the land are stupid. They assume the Obama act was necessary to protect drinking water from agricultural pursuits and industry. The environmentalists forget that those who take care of the land are smart enough to know that if they don’t take care of it, their livelihood is gone. Some people have been in this industry for generations.
“President Trump’s administration wants to turn back the clock to the days of poisoned flammable water. This is shameful and dangerous,” said Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice president. Abigail forgets that it was under Obama in 2011 when you could do that.
“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,” whined Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group.
This hinges on their religion of climate change as well. The left desperately wants to keep this control while watching helplessly as Trump takes it away piece by piece, giving it back to the people.
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