Trump administration rolls back law preventing pollution in drinking water sources

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 24, 2020, 01.45 PM(IST) Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan

File photo: US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Donald Trump has long targeted his predecessor Barack Obama for clean water protections measures.

Water sources used by nearly a third of Americans will no longer have pollution safeguards after the Trump administration completed its rollback of environmental measures. 

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalised a move that removes millions of miles of streams and around 50 per cent of America’s wetlands from federal oversight, which will potentially give a free hand to pesticides and other pollutants be dumped without penalty, reported Guardian.

Also read: Trump tears into environmental 'doom' mongers at Davos forum

US President Donald Trump has long targeted his predecessor Barack Obama for clean water protections measures, calling it a “very destructive and horrible rule”. 

Trump has been backed by farming groups, ranchers, who assert the so-called “Water of the United States” (Wotus) rule impinged upon landowners’ rights. 

However, the EPA staff has expressed disappointment over the move.

“The new rule is scientifically indefensible and socially unjust,” said Betsy Southerland, was scientific director of the EPA’s office for three decades, reported. 

The industry groups who were promised by the Trump administration to revoke the law welcomed the move. 

With this move, the major rivers such as the Mississippi River and Colorado will remain protected but impositions from short-lived streams and wetlands have been lifted. 

Environmental groups warn that nearly 75 endangered species dependent on temporary streams will be paralysed from this decision. 

Recently, Trump claimed at the Davos summit that the US has “among the cleanest air and drinking water on Earth”. But, more than 100 environmental rules have been dismantled during Trump's presidency.