NAHB Applauds President Trump for Move to Fix Flawed WOTUS Rule

Mar 01, 2017, 00:13

President Trump's executive order to start rolling back an Obama administration rule on waters in the United States is backed by a host of affected industry groups - including some like golf courses that are connected to his business interests.

Trump will sign the executive orders in back-to-back signing ceremonies at the White House on Tuesday. Opponents also pointed out that some waterways covered under the rule were not always wet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which jointly administer WOTUS, will have to justify their findings with scientific research. WOTUS expanded protection to include smaller streams and wetlands that drain into major rivers, bays, and drinking water sources.

President Trump will likely take a first step toward dismantling Obama's environmental legacy today, fulfilling a promise to go after the 2015 Waters of the United States rule. Members of our state's agriculture community spent the better part of the last decade trying to operate under the burdensome and uninformed regulations imposed by the Obama administration.

"Farmers and ranchers have been calling for a common-sense approach to regulatory reform, and today the Trump administration responded to that call".

"The onerous WOTUS rule misses the mark by imposing excessive burdens on landowners, threatening to harm the economy, and costing us jobs". It also orders the Justice Department to request that federal courts place a hold on legal challenges to the rule while the review is underway, according to Reuters.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt addressed a conservative summit on February 25, saying WOTUS "made puddles and dry creek beds across this country subject to the jurisdiction of Washington, D.C".

Still, it could take well over a year for the directive to be carried out.

If the federal government shies away from meeting its Clean Water Act obligations then "we shall fight them", Jan Goldman-Carter, the National Wildlife Federation's senior manager and counsel on wetland water resources, said at a recent American Law Institute-Continuing Legal Education seminar on Environmental Law.

Trump said the law meant that regulators had jurisdiction over puddles and ditches, but activists say this wasn't allowed under the rule. "I don't think we've ever had this many people in the Oval Office", Trump said to laughter". In fact, 79 local officials and 234 businesses recently joined Environment America Research & Policy Center on amicus briefs in defense of the Rule in court.

Property owners, meanwhile, will continue to grapple with the question of whether they need a Clean Water Act permit for activities on their land.

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