Author: Rose Shababy

Congressman Russ Fulcher is pushing back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement that it will look into restoring rules and definitions for the Waters of the United States regulations implemented by the Obama Administration. In 2015, this rule established definitions that allowed the federal government to regulate bodies of water.

In January of 2020, the rule was overturned by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule under the direction of President Trump, shrinking the number of streams and wetlands protected by the Clean Water Act. Under the final rule, four categories of water are federally regulated:

  • The territorial seas and traditional navigable waters,
  • Perennial and intermittent tributaries to those waters,
  • Certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments, and
  • Wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters

The Trump-era rule also details 12 categories of exclusions such as features that only contain water in direct response to rainfall (e.g., ephemeral features), groundwater, many ditches, prior converted cropland and waste treatment systems.

“I commend the Trump Administration for keeping their promise and reestablishing the appropriate state authority in relation to the Clean Water Act,” said Fulcher. “This new rule will help Idaho farms, businesses, and other job creators so our state can continue to thrive as an economic leader in our nation.”

Read the full story here.