Professor Karl Coplan and Ann Powers comment on EPA rules and enforcement of the Clean Air Act

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the process of rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule.

A draft of the Trump administration’s proposed rewrite of the rule takes an extremely narrow position in its definition of “navigable waters.” The draft, which has been circulating throughout the EPA and Capitol Hill for weeks, defines waters of the United States to mean only waters that have been used for interstate or foreign commerce, or interstate waters and wetlands, and requires such waters to be “relatively permanent.”

“If this rule were adopted, it would be an outrageous contraction of the scope of the Clean Water Act that is contrary to Congress’ clear intent, and this arbitrary reversal would never withstand review in court,” said Karl Coplan, a professor at Pace Law.

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