On Tuesday, President Trump will sign an executive order that rolls back President Obama’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The rule greatly expanded the EPA’s authority to regulate small “streams and wetlands,” which farmers and property developers said stifled economic growth.
The New York Times lays out why farmers, and local economies, will like the rule change:
But it has come under fierce attack from farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers, golf-course owners and other business interests that contend that it will stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners’ rights.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, which has led the legal fight against Mr. Obama’s rule, contends that it places an undue burden on farmers in particular, who may find themselves required to apply for federal permits to use fertilizer near ditches and streams on their property that may eventually flow into larger rivers.
New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt also opposed WOTUS, as attorney general of Oklahoma, as an example of federal overreach.
The Environmentalist Left claims rolling back the WOTUS rule is an attack on on environmental regulations, but President Trump’s executive order is likely to receive bipartisan support. In 2015, three Senate Democrats (Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly) and 24 House Democrats opposed to the WOTUS rule.