Water does not care if you are republican, democrat, green, or independent. Water is still here to serve - to give us life. However, to make sure our famiies, friends and communities are served, when we vote, we want to vote for water - to make sure that people we vote for actually care about water.
Near the end of January 2020, the Trump administration finalized the repeal of environmental protections for many of our nation’s water sources. The new rule, a drastic revision of the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States regulations, stripped protection from thousands of miles of wetlands, rivers, and groundwater.
The new rule, which Trump calls the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, allows farmers and developers to dump harmful pesticides into waterways and fill in wetlands for construction projects. It also lets them avoid filing for a permit from the EPA, which the previous rule evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Trump’s Four Year Water Record
Removing these protections is just the latest in the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back or eliminate the environmental rules of the previous administration. According to the New York Times, Trump has rolled back almost 100 environmental rules during his tenure in the White House. And many of those rules affect our water.
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In total, there are 95 environmental rules the Trump administration is working to dismantle. As of December 2019, 58 were completed, with 37 in progress.
In 2017 Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rescinded water pollution regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on federal and Native American land. The repeal creates a dangerous environment for local drinking water and residents by lessening restrictions on the storage of toxic waste in ponds and tanks.
In 2018, Trump issued an executive order scrapping rules meant to preserve U.S. oceans and the Great Lakes. It was replaced with a plan designed to use those waters for economic growth, instead. The rules were set in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
Also in 2018, another executive order was issued revoking a directive for federal agencies to minimize the harm done to waterways, wildlife, and other natural resources when approving development projects.
In 2017, the Stream Protection Rule preventing coal mining companies from dumping waste into local streams was reversed. In addition to promises to dismantle Obama-era regulatory measures as soon as he entered office, Trump has long pledged to use his position to help the coal mining industry.
The E.P.A. withdrew a proposed rule to reduce pollutants at sewage treatment plants in 2017 under Trump. His administration has also proposed a rule to exempt power plants from parts of an E.P.A. rule regulating toxic discharge into public waterways.
Barely Scratching the Surface
The above are only a few of the environmental rules that Trump’s administration has dismantled or are attempting to dismantle. Across the board, Trump has deemed the interests of large corporations to be more important than the environment and the health of the nation’s citizens.
Some are pushing back. States like California have challenged Trump’s actions numerous times in court. In April 2020 the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s views, ruling that a wastewater plant in Hawaii could not exempt itself from key parts of the Clean Water Act. The country isn’t taking these rollbacks lying down, but the fight isn’t over. It’s more important than ever to stay vigilant for the sake of our water, and our planet.
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