Judge Blocks Obama-Era Clean Water Rule

Aug 26, 2019

A federal judge last week blocked an Obama-era rule governing what bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act.


The Obama administration rule said the Clean Water Act applies to streams and ponds that are sometimes dry and other bodies of water far upstream from navigable waterways. Farmers, developers and other landowners called that federal overreach. Ten states including Georgia challenged the rule.


Gov. Brian Kemp celebrated the ruling as good for agribusiness. He said in a statement it would protect “the livelihoods of thousands of Georgia farm families.”


Megan Desrosiers of environmental group One Hundred Miles said environmentalists are turning their focus to more changes to water regulations.


"We have to get serious — get more serious, we already were serious, but get more serious — about making sure that President Trump doesn't repeal the clean water rule altogether," she said.


The Trump administration is in the process of replacing Obama-era water rules. Their proposal is expected to take a more limited view of the reach of the Clean Water Act.