How does the new rule stack up to the old one? Well, the Obama rule protected roughly 60% of the country’s waterways, including large bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound, and Mississippi River, as well as smaller wetlands, headwaters, and streams. It limited the discharge of things like pesticides, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and other stuff you’d probably not want to drink into those waters. Whereas Trump’s rule:
“This is rolling back federal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act further than it’s ever been before,” Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School, told the Times. “Waters that have been protected for almost 50 years will no longer be protected under the Clean Water Act.”
While fossil fuel groups unsurprisingly cheered the change, government scientists—even ones appointed by Trump— were less enthused. The EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board said that the new rule flagrantly ignores science by “failing to acknowledge watershed systems,” adding that it found “no scientific justification” for excluding certain bodies of water from protection, and that pollutants dumped in smaller and seasonal bodies of water can still have a massive, devastating impact on the health of larger water systems. Anyway, happy golfing!
If you would like to receive the Levin Report in your inbox daily, click here to subscribe.