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The Administration of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, presented on Thursday last week a new regulation on the protection of waters that excludes millions of kilometers of rivers and numerous swamps and lakes from federal protection, thus breaking with a plan environment of more than 30 years.
The regulation ends the need to obtain permits for the dumping of waste into water by farmers, construction companies, mining companies and the oil and gas industry, something that the regulation applied by President Barack Obama (2009- 2017), which also fined the spill of petroleum derivatives in protected waters.
The clean water protections strengthened under the Obama administration have been targeted by Donald Trump, who called it a "very destructive and horrible rule."
Trump has been endorsed by ranchers, farmer groups and golf course operators, who claim that the so-called "Water of the United States" (Wotus) rule affects the rights of landowners.
The Obama-era water rule was repealed last year and on Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a weakened replacement that removes millions of miles of streams and about half of America's wetlands from oversight. federal law, which could allow pesticides and other pollutants to be dumped on them, without penalty.
The move has dismayed former EPA staff who worked to expand protections to the ephemeral streams that supply drinking water to approximately 117 million people in the United States.
The new measure, presented under the name of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, ends with a demarcation of protected waters that regulated the orography of the United States for 30 years, something that has raised blisters among environmental groups in the country.
"This deregulation will cause federal protections under the Clean Water Act to no longer apply and there will be few protections left to prevent polluters from dumping toxic by-products into our waters," explained the environmental association Earth Justice.
The Trump administration has dismantled nearly 100 environmental rules while in office, including repealing the ban on mining companies dumping their waste into rivers.
"The 'dirty water rule' will put drinking water at risk for tens of millions of people, especially low-income communities and communities of color that are already disproportionately affected by contaminated water," said Madeleine Foote, Legislative Deputy Director of the League of Voters. conservation.
"Clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right and we should do more to protect our water resources, not less," he added.
Another expert warned of additional risks
"The goal of the Trump administration's rollback is to reduce the obligations of farmers, ranchers and other landowners in their requirements to protect water quality in the United States," said Catherine Kling, an environmental economist at Cornell University.
“This will reduce regulatory costs for that group of Americans. But there are costs to the environment that will be borne by other Americans. "
This includes, Kling said, the loss of healthy drinking water, algal blooms that make swimmers and pets sick, and the reduced value of property near waterways.
sources :vanaguardia.com theguardian.com