On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at undoing one of “Barack Obama’s signature environmental policies designed to protect American waterways from pollution,” reports Sabrina Siddiqui, a step toward fulfilling his pledge to roll back Obama-era regulations.
The 2015 rule expanded the requirement of permits to pursue any actions that might cause harm to America’s waterways as a way of curbing the flow of pollution into major bodies of water, wetlands and ponds.
The action also bolsters Trump’s new EPA head, Scott Pruitt, who sued the Obama administration over the rule in 2015 when he was attorney general of Oklahoma, says Siddiqui.
The president could not repeal the rule himself but instead asked the Environmental Protection Agency to formally review it.
Environmental groups had celebrated the rule as a way of securing streams and wetlands connected to sources that provide nearly one-third of Americans with drinking water. Farming and ranching groups, on the other hand, claimed that the rule gave the federal government too much control and exposed them to litigation.