Pruitt says he (not EPA regional offices) now has the final word on clean water determinations

Scott Pruitt must fancy himself the czar of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A leaked internal memo reveals that he will now have final say on crucial Clean Water Act determinations, taking control away from regional administrators and potentially sidelining local scientists. The issue at stake is which smaller bodies of water are subject to Clean Water Act protections (something that would have been determined by the Clean Water Rule, except Pruitt rescinded that back in January). The move prevents the EPA's regional offices from being able to "veto" activities by the Army Corps of Engineers, such as oil pipeline and mining proposals. Former EPA employee Kyla Bennett, who is also the New England director for PEER (the watchdog group that leaked the memo), tells Inside Climate News, "It takes away the one bullet that EPA had in its gun to stop a project."

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