The Trump administration revoked the 2015 Waters of the United States rule that redefined waterways subject to federal regulation.
The rule, enacted by the Obama administration, broadened the classification of waterways under federal Clean Water Act regulation. That measure drew criticism from developers and farmers who said it unduly restricted economic development and infringed on property rights.
Federal agencies plan to adopt a new rule by the end of the year that would likely define protected waterways more narrowly. The Clean Water Act requires landowners to obtain federal permits before developing or polluting navigable waterways.
There have been longstanding fights over what other waters, such as wetlands that don’t have a direct connection to those larger waters and small headwater streams and channels that do not flow all year round, should be protected by federal Clean Water Act regulations.