Boring but important
EPA to scrap water rule
The Trump administration this week took a major step toward revoking a controversial Obama-era water-protection rule that limits pollution in the nation’s wetlands and tributaries. The rule, known as Waters of the United States, extended the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing authority to regulate larger bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound to cover the waterways and wetlands that flow into them. Implemented by the Obama administration in 2015, the regulation was hailed by environmentalists but triggered protests from real estate developers, farmers, and ranchers, who argued it was an infringement of their property rights. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a 42-page proposal to rescind the rule this week, saying it “usurps” state authority.