Trump Rolled Back Clean Water Regulations. Two Wisconsin Tribes Just Won Against His Rule in Court.


Wisconsin’s Wolf River (Image via Shutterstock) Two Wisconsin tribes were among five who sued to block the rule enacted in 2020.

Tribal communities in Wisconsin and around the country secured a win recently when a federal judge overturned a rule put in place by former President Donald Trump that rolled back regulations on water pollution.

Judge Rosemary Márquez of the US District Court in Arizona in an Aug. 30 ruling struck down Trump’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, saying it had “fundamental and substantial flaws” and that allowing it to remain in place posed a risk of “serious environmental harm.”

Once the rule went into effect in January 2020, it removed millions of streams and wetlands from protections offered by the Clean Water Act, according to environmental law firm Earthjustice . Trump also repealed a rule put in place by former President Barack Obama that increased federal water protection.

Trump’s rule change removed a permitting process that required developers, miners, and farmers to ensure their projects on the affected waters didn’t violate the Clean Water Act, said Earthjustice attorney Janette Brimmer, who represented the five tribes that sued to overturn the rule.

In June, the Biden administration said the rule led to a 25% drop in Clean Water Act enforcement.

“[Trump’s rule was] not scientifically sound and incredibly shortsighted,” Brimmer said.The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa were among the tribes who filed the lawsuit. In a court filing , they said the protections rollback endangered their hunting, […]

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