Trump finalizes repeal of Obama-era clean water rule

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks after a tour of the Flint water plant on September 14, 2016 in Flint, Michigan.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

The Trump administration is expected on Thursday to repeal a major Obama-era clean water regulation that limited the amount of pollution and chemicals that can be used near bodies of water like streams and wetlands. 

The rollback of the Waters of the United States rule is scheduled to be announced at the headquarters of the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade group that has pushed for its repeal and replacement. 

The EPA proposed replacing the 2015 water rule in December following an executive order from President Donald Trump, who has criticized the regulations for curbing the rights of farmers, developers and landowners.

The new rule would limit the number of waterways the federal government can protect from pollution, including ditches, storm water control facilities and groundwater systems. It would also limit the government’s oversight to larger bodies of water.

Weakening the water rule will receive push back from environmental groups, who claim that loosening restrictions will substantially harm the country’s water safety. The repeal could take effect in just a few weeks. 

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