Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Environment Agency Puts Clean-Water Rule on Hold


FILE - EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks to a reporter after speaking at Whayne Supply in Hazard, Ky., Oct. 9, 2017. Pruitt said Jan.31, 2018, that federal rule changes aimed at protecting drinking water sources were confusing, especially for farmers and ranchers, so the matter has been put on hold for two years.

The Environmental Protection Agency is putting a two-year hold on an Obama-era clean-water rule to give the Trump administration more time to come up with a replacement.

The EPA decision, announced Wednesday, came a week after the Supreme Court said the rule, which had been blocked since 2015, could be implemented.

The rule changes the legal definitions of wetlands and small waterways under the Clean Water Act, expanding the areas that are protected. Supporters said the objective of the changes was to protect sources of drinking water for millions of Americans from industrial pollution.

But EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the rules were confusing, especially for farmers and ranchers.

Environmentalists said putting the rule on hold for two years was giving industry a permit to pollute.

A U.S. appeals court blocked the 2015 rule from taking effect, and a Trump executive order called for it to be reviewed.

But the Supreme Court said last week that the appeals court did not have jurisdiction to hear challenges to the clean-water rule.

Your opinion

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG