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Politics: EPA Takes Steps to Undo Trump-Era Rollback of Protections Under Clean Water Act

Fight over US wolf protections goes before federal judge

  Fight over US wolf protections goes before federal judge BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. government attorney urged a federal judge Friday to uphold a decision from the waning days of the Trump administration that lifted protections for gray wolves across most of the country, as Republican-led states have sought to drive down wolf numbers through aggressive hunting and trapping. Wildlife advocates argued that the state-sponsored hunts could quickly reverse the gray wolf’s recovery over the past several decades in large areas of the West and Midwest. They want U.S.

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is moving forward with a significant rollback of an Obama- era clean water regulation that has become a rallying cry for farmers and property-rights activists opposed to federal overreach. In one of his first acts as president, Trump signed an executive order in February 2017 to undo the clean water rule and instructed the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a new approach. In a Roosevelt Room ceremony with farmers and lawmakers at the time, Trump called the rule "one of the worst examples of federal

The Biden administration is taking a step towards reversing Trump - era rollbacks to water regulations, proposing a rule to restore the pre-Obama definition that outlines which waters it will seek to protect from pollution. In a press release, the Environmental Protection Agency said that it, alongside the Army Corps of Engineers, proposed returning to the pre-Obama definition of what constitutes a " Water of the United States." These waters are those that get protections under the Clean Water Act , which makes it illegal to release pollutants into them without permits, which can set limits and specifications

The Biden administration began the process of restoring federal protections to hundreds of thousands of streams, wetlands and other bodies of water on Thursday, undoing one of the most significant environmental rollbacks of the Trump administration.

In this 2018, photo, a puddle blocks a path that leads into the Panther Island Mitigation Bank near Naples, Fla. The Biden administration on Nov. 18, 2021, moved to formally restore federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, undoing a Trump-era rule that was considered one of that administration's hallmark environmental rollbacks. © Brynn Anderson/Associated Press In this 2018, photo, a puddle blocks a path that leads into the Panther Island Mitigation Bank near Naples, Fla. The Biden administration on Nov. 18, 2021, moved to formally restore federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, undoing a Trump-era rule that was considered one of that administration's hallmark environmental rollbacks.

According to The Associated Press, the regulation is commonly referred to as WOTUS, the "waters of the United States" regulation, which defines what waterways qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act.

Biden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations

  Biden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations The Biden administration said on Friday that it'll take a two-step approach to decide which U.S. waters should get federal protections from pollution, returning first to pre-Obama protections.A statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that a "forthcoming foundational rule" would temporarily restore protections that were in place prior to an Obama-era expansion in 2015. Last year, the Trump administration put forward a rule that undermined both the Obama-era protections and also rolled back some protections, including for wetlands, that had been in place for decades.

Trump and his cabinet appointees did not believe the consensus of most scientists that climate change will have catastrophic impacts[10] nor that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change.[11] Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, leaving the U.S. the only nation that was not The administration repealed the Clean Water Rule and rewrote the EPA 's pollution-control policies—including policies on chemicals known to be serious health risks—particularly benefiting the chemicals industry,[16][17] A 2018 analysis reported that the Trump administration's rollbacks and

The US Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) turns 50 this year, but scientists and environmentalists see little reason to celebrate. In the middle of a global pandemic that is making world leaders scramble to protect citizens and restart economies, the agency’s leadership is pressing forward with controversial efforts to roll back environmental regulations and fundamentally alter the way in which science is used to craft policy. In the past month alone, the agency has dialled down regulations on automobile emissions and fuel efficiency put in place under former president Barack

The action by the Environmental Protection Agency will reinstate a rule that was in place in 2015 while the administration creates a new rule sometime next year.

In June, the Biden administration publicly stated its intent to redefine the regulations and reinstate protections removed under Trump. Before they could, however, an Arizona federal judge removed Trump's regulations and reinstated a 1986 standard.

The standard put in place by Arizona's U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez was a midpoint between the Trump and Obama administrations, as the Obama administration's standards protected about 60 percent of waterways in the country.

Marquez said the EPA, by not acting on the regulation sooner, was ignoring its findings in past studies that smaller waterways no longer protected under the Trump-era regulations can impact the health and ecosystem of the larger bodies of water they feed into.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army reviewed ex-President Donald Trump 's Navigable Waters Protection Rule and determined that it "significantly" reduced clean water protections - a major concern as arid states in the west face droughts. “After reviewing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule as directed by President Biden, the EPA and Department of the Army have determined that this rule is leading to significant environmental degradation,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a press release. He said EPA and the Army will work on a

The Environmental Protection Agency ’s acting administrator said the proposed rule would reverse what he called the federal government’s usurping of the rights of private landowners and local governments. The water -rule revision “restores the rule of law and the primary role of states in managing their water resources,” Andrew Wheeler told reporters before the rule was officially released at a ceremony at EPA headquarters. Environmental groups said the Trump administration proposal would have a sweeping impact on how the country safeguards the nation’s waterways, scaling back

Opponents of larger regulations of the nation's waterways like home builders, oil and gas developers and farmers say the Obama-era definitions impacted waterways on private property, and could make their jobs more expensive and time-consuming to complete. However, environmental groups say strong federal protections are necessary to protect smaller, more vulnerable waterways from the pollution that could harm wildlife and the environment.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

The regulation has long been a point of contention among environmental groups, farmers, homebuilders, lawmakers and the courts.

The agency's action Thursday formalizes steps it already has been taking since the court order.

The Trump-era rule resulted in an estimated 25 percent reduction in the number of streams and wetlands that are afforded federal protection, officials said.

Biden administration acts to restore clean-water safeguards

  Biden administration acts to restore clean-water safeguards WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration took action Thursday to restore federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, undoing a Trump-era rule that was considered one of that administration’s hallmark environmental rollbacks. At issue is a regulation sometimes referred to as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, that defines the types of waterways qualifying for federal protection under the Clean Water Act. The regulation has long been a point of contention among environmental groups, farmers, homebuilders, lawmakers and the courts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army reviewed ex-President Donald Trump 's Navigable Waters Protection Rule and determined that it "significantly" reduced clean water protections - a major concern as arid states in the west face droughts. Some 14 states, including New York and California, had sued the Trump EPA over the rollback because they said it would end federal protection for half of the nation’s wetlands and 15% of streams across the country. Environmental groups supported broadening waterway protections , but some urged quicker action.

Groups including the National Association of Home Builders and the American Farm Bureau Federation argued that the court should not have removed the Trump rule without deciding on the merits of legal challenges. The judge's ruling in August "casts uncertainty over farmers and ranchers across the country and threatens the progress they've made to responsibly manage water and natural resources,″ the farm bureau said at the time.

An EPA spokesman declined to comment on the legal appeal.

In a statement, EPA Administrator Michael Regan acknowledged the uncertainty that has come to define the water rule. "The only constant with WOTUS has been change, creating a whiplash in how to best protect our waters in communities across America," he said.

EPA spokesman Nick Conger said Thursday's proposal included updates that reflect the latest science and Supreme Court rulings. The EPA also said long-standing clean water exemptions for farmers will continue.

Kelly Moser, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has pushed for stricter regulation, said the action shows that this administration is "serious about quickly returning to a mode of protecting the quality of the nation's waters instead of dismantling them."

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  Daily on Energy: Republicans accuse Democrats of trying to have it both ways on oil and gas Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Newsletter Default 11-2021 CASSIDY AND CRAMER VERSUS DEMOCRATS: Senate Republicans are pushing back on Democratic calls to curb U.S.

The agencies will accept public comments on the proposal through late January.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 30, 2021. Regan's EPA announced Thursday the first steps towards creating new regulations to protect waterways under the Clean Water Act, undoing a significant piece of Trump-era environmental rollbacks. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images © Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 30, 2021. Regan's EPA announced Thursday the first steps towards creating new regulations to protect waterways under the Clean Water Act, undoing a significant piece of Trump-era environmental rollbacks. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

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Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires .
MONDAY AGAIN. Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin. Reach Zack Budryk at [email protected] or follow him at @BudrykZack. Today we're looking at congressional action on that Exxon tape, the Biden administration's latest move on water regulations, and how climate change can exacerbate man- made wildfires.

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