President Donald Trump has been busy reviewing a lot of the horrible executive orders foisted upon us by President Barack Obama in the former administration.
One that has had a horrible effect on farmers, homeowners, ranchers and businesses is the innocent-sounding ‘Clean Water’ or “Waters of the United States” rule, otherwise known as WOTUS.
President Trump just announced he will be rolling back the rule and explains why, surrounded by many of the people whom the rule hurt.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) February 28, 2017
Homeowners who did anything even with puddles of water on their own land could effectively be in trouble from the rule because of the federal government reach.
From Daily Caller:
Republicans, farmers and industrial groups have called the rule an EPA “power grab” because it extends the agency’s powers to new heights over ephemeral waters not physically connected to “waters of the U.S.”
Thirty-two states filed suit against EPA and the Corps to get federal judges to strike down the rule. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sued to have the rule overturned while attorney general of Oklahoma. A federal judge in North Dakota issued a stay against WOTUS in August 2015, suggesting there could be legal issues with the rule.
Trump wants the EPA to make sure “waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty.” He also want to make sure the rule respects the role of states and Congress.
The standard Trump is recommending that accounts both for protecting water and protecting the rights of landowners? The Scalia standard.
Trump will order federal officials to interpret the term “navigable waters” in a “manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States” — a departure from the Obama administration interpretation of federal power.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, wrote in his plurality opinion for Rapanos that “navigable waters” refers to “relatively permanent, standing or flowing bodies of water” and not “ephemeral” flows.
Sounds like a great plan, a Scalia standard protecting the Constitution plus protecting the rights of landowners and businesses.