President Donald Trump is yet again on the spotlight, this time over plans to repeal an Obama era act that protected waterways. Reports indicate that the administration has budged into lobbying pressure, to reverse Federal authority and protection jurisdiction over streams and wetlands across the United States.
Obama Rule Repeal
In 2015, President Barack Obama ascended into law an act that defined water bodies under the federal Clean Water Act. Trump has conceded to pressure from Republicans who from the onset, were against the act, which they insisted amounted to government overreach.
A repeal of the Obama era rule will result in the division of U.S waterways into six categories of traditional navigable waterways, Lakes, ponds, impoundments, wetlands as well as tributaries to navigable waters. The Trump administration has also proposed the exclusion of groundwater ditches as well as roadside and farm ditches.
A repeal of the Obama era rule is a contradiction to President Trump stance, given that he has consistently reiterated that clean water is a top priority for the administration.
“We want crystal clean water, and that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what we’re working on so hard,” said Mr. Trump in environment speech.
While the repeal is set to trigger intense litigation from the environment community, it underscores how the Trump administration is focused on overturning a good number of Obama era regulations. Environmentalists have consistently argued that repealing the Clean Water Act would lead to more pollution, as the Trump EPA changes will only protect smaller waterways
However, it appears that the environmentalists were always going to lose, a Georgia federal Judge has already ruled in favor of repeal last month. The National Association of Manufacturers, which has been pushing for a repeal of the Obama era rule, also appears to have gotten its way among lawmakers.
The Lobby group has reportedly spent $4.2 million this year in a bid to have the act repealed. Last year, the lobby group spent $9.5 million according to Open Secrets, in lobbying Congress and the administration at large.