Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeNewsBiden Administration Dilutes Clean-Water Protections Following Court's Limitation on Federal Power

Biden Administration Dilutes Clean-Water Protections Following Court’s Limitation on Federal Power

The Biden administration has weakened regulations protecting wetlands after a Supreme Court ruling limited the federal government’s jurisdiction over them. The rule change requires wetlands to be more clearly connected to other bodies of water, departing from previous federal rules governing waterways. The Supreme Court ruling in favor of property rights raised concerns about clean water and restricted the government’s power to regulate wetlands without a direct connection to larger bodies of water. The new rule responds to this ruling and is final, rather than going through the typical proposal and public feedback process. Environmental groups and business groups have criticized the rule change. Critics argue that the rule ignores other ways in which the Supreme Court limited the reach of the Clean Water Act. The change is likely to weaken protections for ephemeral streams and overturns decades of federal law and practice. The Biden administration previously finalized regulations protecting small streams and wetlands, which were repealed by the Trump administration. This issue has seen varying levels of federal power depending on the political party in the White House. Congress approved a resolution overturning the Biden administration’s water protections earlier this year, but Biden vetoed it.

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