Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to undo one of Barack Obama’s signature environmental policies designed to protect American waterways that are connected to drinking water reservoirs from pollution.
Trump’s move marks the first step toward fulfilling his pledge on the campaign trail to roll back Obama-era regulations, which include a 2015 rule designed to curb the flow of pollution into major bodies of water, wetlands and ponds by expanding the requirement of permits to pursue any actions that might cause them harm.
The Clean Water rule was created by the Obama administration to clarified the Agency’s ability to regulate pollution in major bodies of water as well as the smaller streams and tributaries that flow into them.
Trump’s order is one of many attacks Republican have launched on Obama’s environmental legacy. Other reversals of Obama-era environmental regulations have come from congressional actions, revealed Business Insider.
Republicans have long decried all environmental regulations enacted under Obama as “overreach” and vowed to overturn them.
The Obama administration and environmental groups had championed the rule as a necessary step in securing streams and wetlands that are connected to sources that provide roughly one-third of Americans with drinking water.
The action bolstered the position of Trump’s new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, who wishes to dismantle the rule. Pruitt sued the Obama administration over it in 2015 while serving as the attorney general of Oklahoma.