The Latest: EPA revokes water protection regulation

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Environmental Protection Agency director Andrew Wheeler speaks about the release of the final report of the national Superfund Task Force, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at Southside Community Park in Chattanooga, Tenn. According to Wheeler, the Southside Chattanooga Lead Site serves as a success story for the Superfund program. The site was added to the National Priorities List a year ago, which opened up additional funding opportunities and allowed the EPA to replace the lead-tainted soil. (Erin O. Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s plans to revoke an Obama-era clean water rule (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

The Trump administration says revoking an Obama-era rule on waters and wetlands would provide “much-needed regulatory certainty” for farmers, homebuilders and landowners.

Writing in the Des Moines Register on Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James call the Obama rule “an egregious power grab” that led to even isolated ponds being subjected to federal regulation.

Wheeler and James say their proposed rule would clearly define “where federal jurisdiction begins and ends.” They say a new definition would be finalized in the winter.

Environmentalists say the Trump administration move would leave millions of Americans with less safe drinking water.

Wheeler and James have scheduled a Thursday news conference to discuss the decision.

___

11:45 a.m.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says the Trump administration’s plan to revoke an Obama-era clean water rule is a good move for farmers.

Congressional relations director Don Parrish says the 2015 regulation that extended federal protection to many U.S. wetlands and waterways created uncertainty about where farmers could cultivate land.

Parrish says, “It would be great if farmers didn’t have to hire an army of consultants and lawyers just to be able to farm.”

Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota says the Obama rule “did nothing to advance good water management.”

But environmentalists say the Trump administration move would leave millions of Americans with less safe drinking water and damage wetlands that prevent flooding.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James have scheduled a Thursday news conference to discuss the decision.

___

10:45 a.m.

The Trump administration plans to revoke an Obama-era regulation that provided federal protection to many U.S. wetlands and streams.

Two Environmental Protection Agency officials with knowledge of the plan told The Associated Press the administration plans to substitute the rule with its own version.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James scheduled a news conference for later Thursday to discuss the decision.

President Donald Trump has promised to repeal the 2015 Obama rule, which defines what bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction.

Farmers, homebuilders and other business interests say the rule has harmed economic development and violates property rights.

Environmentalists say the move would leave millions of Americans with less safe drinking water and damage wetlands that prevent flooding.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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