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EPA Moves to Repeal “Waters of the U.S” Regulation

Aug 7 | 2017  by

By Beth Florkowski of Fausone Bohn, LLP posted in Environmental Law on Monday, August 7, 2017.

Paul Bohn, Esq.

The Trump administration has taken another step to remove environmental regulations created under the Obama administration. Last Wednesday, they formally moved to repeal the 2015 Waters of the U.S regulation which will allow them to re-evaluate the definition of U.S waters. In addition to the previous rescinding of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, these decisions align with President Trump’s Feb. 28th executive order.

Supporters are happy to see the change, as they believe it’s largely beneficial to farmers, states, communities, and private property rights. They argue the recent development delivers opportunity for economic growth while maintaining an appropriate level of environmental rationality. Regulatory certainty is something that supporters have pushed for, and believe this is a step towards transparency.

Opponents, largely consisting of environmental groups, argue that these decisions will put thousands of American’s health at risk along with many of the protected wetlands around the country. They contend that this recent development demonstrates our current administration’s willingness to favor the interests of corporations above public health.

The removal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S regulation will certainly loosen the protection of wetlands across the country allowing for property owners to develop on these areas. Does the removal of the regulation strike the balance between economic growth and public health safety, or has the presidential administration gone too far to promote growth?