Last week, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and state Attorney General Josh Stein joined representatives of 16 other states in suing the Trump Administration for its attempt to gut Clean Water Act protections of public waters and wetlands.
The Trump action seeks to adopt a radically shrunken definition of “waters of the United States” which would strip protections for a huge portion of streams and wetlands in North Carolina and around the nation. It’s attempting to do so in its processing of reversing the Obama Administration’s critical Clean Water Rule.
The Trump rule change “threatens decades of improvements in water quality and endangers North Carolina’s unique wetlands,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan. “This historic rollback of protections will result in a significant loss of natural resources and it is not based on science and runs counter to decades of EPA policy. DEQ will continue to use the state’s authority to protect water quality and the associated economic benefits to North Carolina.”
The states’ joint case was filed in federal court in California. It seeks an order invalidating the Trump Administration’s rule change.