President Trump's executive order aims to phase out water regulation

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:01:00 PM CST in News
By: Jared Koller, KOMU 8 News Reporter
loading
COLUMBIA – President Trump announced on Tuesday an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the Waters of the United States rule, an extension of the Clean Water Act, paving the way for the elimination of the rule.
 
 
Established under the Obama administration, the rule intended to precisely define all natural bodies of waters that are under the federal government and raise the level of water quality.
 
The Clean Water Act of 1972 originally defined the waters needing protection as “navigable” or big enough to float a boat. In 2015, the Waters of the United States rule amended to expand to definition of tributaries that impact the health of downstream waters, waters within municipal separate storm sewer systems and more focus on streams and waters next to rivers and lakes.
 
Missouri Farm Bureau director of regulatory affairs Leslie Holloway said this caused unnecessary limitations on the freedom of Missouri farmers.
 
“The waters that would be covered would include really anything that at any time had any water in it or could have any water in it,” Holloway said “It was so broad that no one knew exactly what it could apply to. But theoretically it could apply to anything.”
 
U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler echoes the Holloway, saying the executive order minimizes regularity uncertainty.
 
“This is the first step toward eliminating a rule that amounts to nothing more than a massive federal power grab that threatened 99% of Missouri land,” Hartzler said. “I applaud the President’s efforts to return control of local lands and waters to the farmers, ranchers, and authorities who know and care for them best.”
 
Holloway said that the amendment to the 1972 act expanded the government’s role beyond original intention and created a burden for every day farming activities.
 
“The rule amended the act in such a way that it broadened greatly the scope of the jurisdiction that the EPA would have over anything that would be considered a water way,” Holloway said. “Traditional farming practices might require a permit. It would certainly not only add cost to what a farmer might be doing on a daily basis, but also a time delay.”
 
Holloway said she felt this was especially unnecessary in Missouri, since the state had such a high level of water quality.
 
“In 2013, Missouri updated water quality standards so this was particularly unnecessary,” Holloway said. “We went through a very lengthy, thorough process of reviewing regulations. Certainly Missouri has demonstrated a very pro-active approach to protecting water quality.”
 
In the future, Holloway said she hopes this shows Missourians it’s a new time and that the state's water quality will remain intact.
 
“We’re moving in a new direction. Hopefully the EPA is going to be working with the states and farmers that are impacted, as opposed to constantly being at odds or battling,” Holloway said. “Water quality has to be protected regardless of this law. There is no threat to water quality as a result of this rule being either rescinded or revised.”
 
The 1972 Clean Water Act remains intact and will still protect navigable bodies of water, but defining what that exactly includes results in a long term process for the EPA.
 
Heather Navarro, Executive Director for Missouri Coalition for the Environment, an independent citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy and healthy environment, said the implications of the order influence all Missourians in a negative way.
 
“Half of Missouri’s population gets their drinking water from surface streams,” Navarro said. “The drinking water implications are very important with this rule. Missouri is still not in full compliance with the clean water as it was amended 30 years ago. So we do not have water quality standards as it is, we’ll will steal be decades behind in implementing full water quality standards.”
 
Missouri has 180,000 miles’ worth of rivers, but everyone who drinks and uses water is dependent on high quality water in Missouri. Navarro said the rule only applied to those discharging pollution into water and streams, not those who don’t have permits, like local farmers.
 
“The rule doesn’t change anything about who’s in charge of water,” Navarro said. “This rule clarified how states were to interpret what Waters of the U.S. means. Now we’re back on square one. It was a compromise that no one was 100 percent happy with, what the rule but it was progress. All it does is put all of our water under threat and threatens public health.”
 
The EPA is still in charge of enforcing the clean water act, while the Department of Natural Resources is who actually issues the permits and writes the water quality standards.
 
Navarro said Missourian’s should care about what less water regulations could mean.
 
“It’s a huge source of jobs and tourism for us, so when that resources is under threat, it really threatens our health and economy,” Navarro said. “If we get rid of all these regulations people will be wearing gas masks and can’t swim on beaches.”
 
In a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia limited the water protection to "only relatively permanent, standing or flowing bodies of water” and "the phrase does not include channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally.” This is a departure from the recent regulations and could be how far new protections stretch.

More News

Grid
List
PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A southwestern Missouri woman has been ordered to stand trial in connection with the 2001 death... More >>
47 minutes ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:54:21 AM CDT in News
WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — Two people have been charged with helpi ng a Missouri woma n dispose of the body... More >>
50 minutes ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:51:25 AM CDT in News
PINE LAWN (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of a triple homicide in St. Louis County. The... More >>
3 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:48:24 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — Authorities are seeking more information about the leather bag in which an infant's remains were found in... More >>
3 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:44:52 AM CDT in News
EXETER (AP) — Auth orities say a train has struck and killed a 73-year-old driver in southwest Missouri. ... More >>
4 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:41:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri represe ntatives have approved that the state pay an extra $241 million in unexpected expenses... More >>
7 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will hold a series of community meetings starting Thursday to build stronger police beats.... More >>
8 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 2:46:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A man was shot on Greensboro Drive and taken to the hospital Wednesday night. He suffered non life-threatening... More >>
12 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:09:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Capital Region Medical Center held a language workshop Wednesday night for parents with young children who have... More >>
15 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - City staff are working to make headway on two new landfill projects for Columbia. At a meeting... More >>
15 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7:57:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - The body of 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie may have been in a large storage container filled with cement for... More >>
17 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- In the latest Association of American Universities (AAU) report released Wednesday, the University of Missouri was highlighted for its... More >>
18 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 5:36:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri representatives have approved that the state pay an extra $241 million in unexpected expenses for... More >>
18 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 5:33:47 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Family members of a man whose death was caused by Arkansas death row inmate Kenneth Williams say... More >>
18 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 5:26:16 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' city minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour starting next week now that... More >>
19 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:16:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft teamed up with Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and local legislators... More >>
19 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:12:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri motorcycle crashes have resulted in 475 deaths since 2012, with 122 fatalities occurring in last year... More >>
20 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
20 hours ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:28:24 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
12pm 56°
1pm 58°
2pm 60°
3pm 62°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld