by Cathy Drummond
President Donald Trump rolls back US water pollution controls. Citing NPR, the Trump Administration has rolled back safeguards put in place by the Obama Administration almost five years ago, in 2015. And, now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under President Trump, has reversed many of the Clean Water Guidelines enacted under President’s Obama Administration.
Back in 2015, the Army Corp of Engineers and the EPA redefined the parameters of what was considered “waters of the United States.” This was accomplished under the Clean Water Act (CWA.) Citing a Federal Registry Document, per the Obama Administration Executive Order, the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers increased the reach of the CWA, if not the overall jurisdiction of the CWA. This particular action became effective on August 28, 2015.
However, then under Obama’s Executive Order, the scope of the CWA jurisdiction was actually reduced. The remaining waterways received greater enforcement power on the part of the EPA. And, in the original Order, the tenets of the United States Supreme Court, peer-reviewed science, and Public input were all taken into consideration.
But what was also included in 2015, was the (inclusion) of non-navigational waterways such as steams, wetlands, and tributaries. These are the areas of protection the present President, Donald Trump, has reversed. And, accordingly, according to NPR, this is a cause of great concern, The rollback of pollution protection for these non-navigational waterways, such as streams, wetlands, and tributaries. All of which have received President Trump undivided attention.
So, it goes without saying, many are outraged. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is one of them. Citing thehill.com. Nancy Pelosi “blasted” the Trump Administration for its actions. Speaker Pelosi characterized this move as an “Outrageous assault” on clean water. She goes on to say, the “Navigable Protection Rule” will give Polluters “free reign,” allowing the release of pesticides and other harmful toxins into the water supply.
And, as to be expected, various Environmental groups, Activists, and others have also voiced their concern. Michael Brune, Director of the Sierra Club, says this political action has given polluters a “free pass” to destroy streams, wetlands, contaminate ground water, putting our water in danger.
However, just across the aisle, some Republicans do not have a problem with the EPA and President Donald Trump’s most recent action. And, have said this gives the power back to the states and local municipalities.
Specifically, Republican Congressman Paul Gosar from Arizona, who calls Former President Obama Clean Water Policy Initiatives as “egregious”, and “overreaching.” Congressman Gosar goes on to say, this action, on the part of President Trump, will take the power out of the hands of the Bureaucrats, restoring it back to Farmers and Small Businessmen.