(KFVS) - The Trump administration moved Tuesday to roll back an Obama administration policy that protected more than half the nation's streams from pollution but drew attacks from farmers, fossil fuel companies and property-rights groups as federal overreach.
According to a release from the Environmental Protection Agency, together with the Department of Army, and Army Corps of Engineers, the agencies are "proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining 'waters of the United States' or WOTUS."
The 2015 regulation sought to settle a debate over which waterways are covered under the Clean Water Act, which has dragged on for years and remained murky despite two Supreme Court rulings. President Donald Trump issued an executive order in February instructing the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rescind or revise the Obama rule, which environmentalists say is essential to protecting water for human consumption and wildlife.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens put a video on Facebook celebrating the decision.
Environmental groups denounced the move, saying it would remove drinking water safeguards for one in three Americans while jeopardizing thousands of streams that flow into larger rivers and lakes, plus wetlands that filter pollutants and soak up floodwaters.
Missouri Attorney General also praised the decision:
U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) called the decision a win for southern Illinois.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst issued this statement: