Trump’s EPA moves to repeal and replace clean water protections

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to repeal and replace the Clean Water Rule with two separate rulemaking processes. Enacted under the Obama administration, the Clean Water Rule seeks to clarify that source waters (small streams, wetlands, etc.) are protected under the Clean Water Act. The agency noted that “it can repeal the regulation now and replace later”—without providing a timeline for the replacement. This approach seems designed to allow the EPA to quickly rescind the regulation without providing a replacement plan. It also suggests the Trump administration is afraid of clean water advocates successfully defending the Clean Water Rule and that the EPA’s replacement plan is on shaky legal ground. 

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