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Trump Administration Working To Roll-Back Water Pollution Regulations

An open field at sunset with a stream running through it and mountains off in the distance
Trump Administration Working To Roll-Back Water Pollution Regulations

The Trump Administration is moving to roll back an Obama-era policy that was designed to protect over half the nation’s streams from pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, outlined the process to unravel the 2015 rule defining which small waterways are covered under the Clean Water Act.

Critics called the regulation a government overreach.

But Montana Trout Unlimited’s executive director, David Brooks, says protecting America’s smaller bodies of water is vitally important:
"For keeping main-stem rivers and streams wet during times of drought. For providing clean water for irrigation. Our drinking water ultimately comes from headwaters. To say it’s an overreach to protect the very sources of our clean water is ignoring the importance of those places.”

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox applauds the decision to start the process to rescind the "Waters of the U.S."

Back in 2015, Fox and 12 other states filed a lawsuit against it saying it inappropriately broadened federal authority.

In a statement released Tues, Fox is quoted as saying, “We all want a clean and healthy environment, but the Waters of the U.S. rule wasn’t about environmental protection, it was about control."

EPA and the Army Corps will move to immediately withdraw the existing measure, then undergo a broader review of how far the federal government’s jurisdiction over the nation’s water should reach.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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