The Trump administration today rolled back Clean Water Act protections, easing restrictions on polluters and threatening the nation’s waterways, wetlands, and clean drinking water.

The Arkansas Sierra Club slammed the move in a press release:

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The Trump administration today will strip Clean Water Act protections for more than half the nation’s wetlands and millions of miles of streams– numbers confirmed by the administration’s own analysis. The cuts put drinking water sources for millions of people in the U.S. at risk and jeopardize the ability to counter floods, droughts, toxic algal blooms, groundwater depletion and other worsening water issues driven by the climate crisis.

“Arkansas is home to some of the highest quality water in the country,” said Arkansas Sierra Club director Glen Hooks in the press release. “Protecting our water is one of the most basic duties of our government, as we just witnessed in the successful effort to protect the Buffalo River.  Arkansans everywhere place a high value on clean water.”

“Today, the Trump administration has given polluters a free pass to contaminate groundwater, destroy streams and wetlands and put our water at risk,” Hooks said.  “Instead of protecting our water, this administration is making it easier for polluters to foul our water.”

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No surprise, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, the Republican congressman representing the state’s third district, sees it differently, applauding Trump’s new rule:

The new directive provides regulatory clarity and ends Obama-era federal overreach … This announcement marks an important step in restoring state authority and stopping improper federal overreach. Localities are best equipped to manage the water and land within its borders – and this new directive rightfully reverses a power grab by Washington bureaucrats under the previous administration. With today’s prudent rule, we are protecting America’s waterways and providing certainty to hardworking farmers, ranchers, and landowners. I have fought against the misguided Obama-era version of this regulation since it was introduced and thank the Trump Administration for taking decisive action and implementing a balanced approach.

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