The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an overreaching Obama-era regulation on so-called wetlands that developers and farmers said hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.
The Clean Water Act requires landowners to obtain federal permits before developing or polluting navigable “waterways.”
But the 2015 Waters of the United States rule defined the waterways subject to federal regulation in such a way as to exert control over canals and ditches that don’t have a direct connection to larger waters and flow only during and after rainfall.
Scrapping it “puts an end to an egregious power grab, eliminates an ongoing patchwork of clean water regulations and restores a longstanding and familiar regulatory framework,” Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler said at a news conference in Washington, DC.
Wheeler and R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, signed a document overturning the rule and temporarily restoring an earlier regulatory system that emerged after a 2006 ruling from a sharply divided Supreme Court.
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