Trump to repeal environmental rule protecting wetlands from development

Trump to repeal environmental rule protecting wetlands from development

WOTUS, which was finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2015 to clarify which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act, has been a concern for agriculture since its passage because it broadened what bodies of water fell under EPA jurisdiction.

Trump's executive order will be the first to attack a major line item in Obama's environmental legacy (with the exception of the president's removal of blocks on several proposed oil pipelines).

Critics contend the rule crafted by the Obama administration could apply to ditches and small isolated bodies of water.

It would have defined dried-up ditches and washes in Arizona as "waters of the United States", which would require developers to obtain permits not only resulting in more costs, but also possibly delaying projects while they wait for federal permitting, Johnson explained.

At least 31 states-along with many local governments and private industry-have challenged the rule in court, arguing that it violates the 10th Amendment's federalism principles and that it exceeds the Constitution's commerce clause.

"The Obama Administration's Waters of the USA rule was a regulatory overreach that would have placed unnecessary burdens on farmers, ranchers and other small businesses in North Dakota and across the nation", Hoeven said. The intent is to either rescind or revise the rule so that the country's navigable waters are protected from pollution, "while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the Constitution". "Been a disaster", Trump said before putting pen to paper.

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Trump was welcomed to the signing ceremony by applause from a group of farmers, home builders, county commissioners and lawmakers he had invited to the White House for the occasion.

"The flawed WOTUS rule has proven to be nothing more than a federal land grab, aimed at telling farmers and ranchers how to run their businesses", Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, said in a release. "But we need to remember that farmers do care about the environment and want to protect it, but that overreach and those one size fits all regulations weren't going to allow us as farmers to individually treat our farms in a way that was not only economical but environmentally beneficial too".

Pruitt can't just throw out the water rule, though - he'll have to create a new rule to take its place.

Called out the EPA's illegal use of taxpayer dollars to rally support for the harmful WOTUS rule.

"An executive order purporting to roll back the rule is nothing more than a paper tweet - it will have no immediate legal effect", said Thaddeus Lightfoot, a Minneapolis-based attorney with law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

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