The Trump Administration has announced that it will eliminate an Obama-era regulation called the Clean Water Rule, which was imposed in 2015 to limit development in wetlands and streams.
During President Trump’s announcement, he explained why he thinks the regulation is burdensome on economic growth and job creation.
“If you want to build a new home, for example, you have to worry about getting hit with a huge fine if you fill in as much as a puddle – just a puddle – on your lot,” Trump said at a press conference. “I’ve seen it. In fact, when it was first shown to me, I said, ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you?’ But they weren’t kidding.”
Many Congressional Republicans have made the same claim – that the Clean Water Rule is an oppressive over-reach by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it means EPA is imposing federal control over even puddles on farms.
But let’s examine the actual text of the regulation, as it is published in the Federal Register, volume 80, No. 124, in June 2015.
“No, it’s not true, as a category,” said Curt Spalding, a professor at Brown University and a former regional administrator for the EPA.