Home NewsEnvironmental Global Water Issues North America EPA finalises protections for wetlands, repealing Trump-era rule.

EPA finalises protections for wetlands, repealing Trump-era rule.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to reduce uncertainty from changing regulatory definitions, protect people’s health, and support economic opportunity. This rule will protect hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands, and other waterways. The protections are in response to a Trump-era rule that environmentalists said left waterways vulnerable to pollution.
The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act. This action will strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water.

The rule restores fundamental protections so that the nation will be closer to achieving Congress’ goal in the Clean Water Act that American waters be fishable and swimmable, and protective of public health. Accompanying the issuance of the final rule, the agencies are also releasing several resources to support clear and effective implementation.

EPA and Army are issuing a joint coordination memo to ensure the accuracy and consistency of jurisdictional determinations under this final rule. The agencies are also issuing a memo with U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Today, the Biden administration restored needed clean water protections so that our nation’s waters are guarded against pollution for fishing, swimming, and as sources of drinking water,” Kelly Moser, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Clean Water Defense Initiative, said in a statement.
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