Say goodbye to America's wetlands and streams. Say hello to new rivers of pollution, and parking lots where cattails, frogs, and minnows once were.
“The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens,” writes Coral Davenport at the New York Times tonight.
From Day 1 of his administration, President Trump vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation, which had frustrated rural landowners. His new rule, which will be implemented in the coming weeks, is the latest step in the Trump administration’s push to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws, loosening or eliminating rules on climate change, clean air, chemical pollution, coal mining, oil drilling and endangered species protections.(...)
His administration had completed the first step of its demise in September with the rule’s repeal. His replacement on Thursday will complete the process, not only rolling back 2015 rules that guaranteed protections under the 1972 Clean Water Act to certain wetlands and streams that run intermittently or run temporarily underground, but also relieves landowners of the need to seek permits that the Environmental Protection Agency had considered on a case-by-case basis before the Obama rule.
It also gives President Trump a major policy achievement to bring to his political base while his impeachment trial continues.
Trump Eases Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands [nytimes.com]