WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is lifting protections for some of the nation’s millions of miles of streams, arroyos and wetlands, nearing completion on one of its most far-reaching environmental rollbacks.
The changes announced Thursday will scale back which waterways qualify for protection against pollution and development under the half-century-old Clean Water Act. President Donald Trump has made a priority of the rollback of clean-water protections from his first weeks in office. Trump says he is targeting federal rules and regulations that impose unnecessary burdens on businesses.
Chiefs of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the changes at a builders’ convention in Las Vegas.
“EPA and the Army are providing much needed regulatory certainty and predictability for American farmers, landowners and businesses to support the economy and accelerate critical infrastructure projects,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.
The changes had been sought by industry, developers and farmers, but opposed by environmental advocates and public health officials. They say the changes would make it harder to maintain a clean water supply for the American public and would threaten habitat and wildlife.
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