President Obama may be remembered in the future for a legacy of environmentalism. His latest plans for limiting pollution in the nation’s major bodies of water and wetlands only add to his push to preserve the environment.
The President recently launched a nationwide water regulation that is designed to help the Federal Government restore their authority to limit the ever-growing pollution in the country’s major lakes and rivers.
Commercial Interests Oppose Clean Water Regulations
The President’s plans have been met with criticism from the country’s farmers, fertilizer developers, pesticide makers, and oil and gas companies. They have concerns that the new rule would hinder economic growth around the country. Also attacking the clean water initiative are golf course owners and property developers. These factions claim that the new limitations placed on clean water will be a severe intrusion on their rights.
The main complaint coming from the farmers and ranchers is that under the new clean water drive, the Government will have undeniable authority over the property owners concerning their own property. The EPA will interfere in regulating property owner’s decisions based on criteria such as the use of certain parts of the properties for animals, birds, or insects.
Steps have already been taken by some Republican factions to move forward with motions to block the clean water regulations.
History of Clean Water in America
The new plans are called Waters of the US. Officials have met in over 400 meetings to discuss the plans and to structure them as concisely as possible. The plans have been built upon the 1972 Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act gave the government authority over limiting the widespread pollution of America’s major bodies of water. This act also included the regulation of streams and wetlands.
However, decisions made by the Supreme Court in 2001 and 2006 created widespread legal uncertainty regarding the Government’s authority over smaller streams and wetlands.
The President’s new plans are set to clear all confusion that arose over the Supreme Court’s 2001 and 2006 decisions, making the boundaries of the Government’s authority over these headwaters more well-defined.
The EPA has continually stated that the new plans are not set to give the government authority over any new water bodies other than the ones clearly mentioned in the 1972 Clean Water Act.
Environmentalists Want Pollution-Free Water
Regardless of the continuous opposition, major environmental authorities are fully backing the clean water plans. The EPA as well as Environment America have supported the rule, declaring that the nation’s major water bodies can only truly be clean if the streams and wetlands draining into the larger water bodies are regulated in the first place.
This new protection plan has given America a huge victory in the battle for clean water that has been waging for over a decade.