MTPR

Waters of the U.S.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox cheered the Trump administration's rollback Thursday of an Obama-era clean water regulation.

The 2015 Waters of the United States rule was designed to protect many American wetlands and streams from pollution, but opponents argued it was too restrictive.

The water we drink is protected by federal rules, which are at the crux of a long-running fight over how far upstream that protection extends.

“Agriculture is land and water. When you’ve got control of the water, you’ve got control of the land,” said Blake Roderick with the National Waterways Conference.

Hans McPherson at his ranch in the Bitterroot Valley.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A new federal rule that would roll back Clean Water Act protections across the country opened for public comment last week. If finalized, the rule would abandon enhanced protections the Obama administration proposed for a large portion of Montana’s stream mileage and wetlands.

The Clark Fork River near the University of Montana Campus, April 30, 2018.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

The Trump Administration’s plan to roll back an Obama-era policy designed to protect over half the nation’s waterways from pollution is drawing starkly different reactions in Montana.

The Montana Wildlife Federation’s Dave Chadwick condemns the re-write of the so-called “Waters of the United States” policy as a sweeping mistake.

Yellowstone River, MT
Wormwould (CC-BY-NC-2)

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows legal challenges to the Obama Administration's Waters of the United States, or WOTUS - rule to continue.

Trump Administration Working To Roll-Back Water Pollution Regulations
(PD)

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.

The sun setting on Rock Creek in western Montana.
Josh Burnham

I’m standing on the bank of Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, close to where it joins the Clark Fork River. The future of this creek and scores more across the state is in question in a new way now that President Donald Trump has issued an executive order. It seeks to overturn the so-called "Waters of the United States" rule that President Obama established in 2015.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Courtesy Montana DOJ

Montana and twelve other states sued the federal government Monday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting a new rule extending the Clean Water Act to small streams and wetlands.

State Attorney General Tim Fox says the Obama administration went too far by asserting control over waterways that belong to the states.

Monday at the Montana Capitol the Legislature’s Water Policy Interim Committee raised questions about new federal clean water rules intended to give the Environmental Protection Agency a say in regulating many streams and ditches that are now the domain of state and local regulators. Montana lawmakers from both parties say they’re troubled by the new rules.