New Protections for America’s Waterways

On Wednesday, May 27, the United States White House announced that the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency have finally issued new guidelines to help direct the protection of waterways that fall under federal jurisdiction from commercial and residential landowner damage caused by destruction and pollution.

Why were these new rules necessary?

Many businesses and residential landowners had difficulty understanding some of the previous Clean Air Act rules after the Supreme Court made a decision in 2001 and another decision in 2006 that caused confusion about small waterways. According to the Associated Press, these decisions left more than half of all U.S. wetlands and small streams unprotected by federal law. Worse yet, some people also took advantage of the confusion caused by the decisions to purposely destroy and pollute these waterways.

The White House believes that the new guidelines will make it easier for businesses and residential landowners to understand the Clean Air Act rules according to Madison Street Capital on pitchengine.com. It will also make it easier to punish anyone who accidentally or knowingly violates the Clean Air Act.

Although environmentalists are thrilled with these changes, many business owners — especially farmers and ranchers — are deeply opposed to new rules. Of course, experts have pointed out that these groups would be the ones most opposed since farm and ranch owners have been the ones violating the Clean Air Act the most since the Supreme Court changes.

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