The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back a 2015 rule that expanded the number waterways that were under the protection of the agency. The Waters of the United States rule gave the EPA the power to place limits about the amount of pollution that was released near lakes, streams, and wetlands that connect to large waterways, which were protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act. The updated rule covered around 60% of the bodies of water in the United States.
The EPA is now redefining what bodies of water fall under the protection of the agency and hopes to have the new definitions finalized in a few months.
“Today’s final rule puts an end to an egregious power grab, eliminates an ongoing patchwork of clean water regulations and restores a longstanding and familiar regulatory framework while we consider public comments on our proposed revised definition of waters of the U.S.,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said.
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