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Supreme Court restores Trump administration’s water rule

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated a Trump-era rule that curtailed the power of states and Native American tribes to block pipelines and other energy projects that could block rivers, streams and other waterways. can pollute.

The judges agreed to overturn the lower court judge’s order and block the order to send it back to the Environmental Protection Agency. Four judges said they disagreed with the decision.

Read more: Biden administration works to restore clean water safety measures

The Biden administration has said it wants to rewrite the rule. Work has begun on an amendment, but the administration has said a final rule is not expected until the spring of 2023. In the meantime, the Trump-era rule will remain in place.

The Biden administration told judges in a court filing that it agreed that US District Court Judge William Alsup did not have the authority to throw out the rule without first determining that it was invalid. But the administration urged the court not to reinstate the rule, saying that in the months since Alsup’s decision, officials have adapted to the change, rolling back the rules for decades. The administration said a further change would “cause substantial disruption and harm the public interest.”

Alsup was nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton.

The federal law in the matter is Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. For decades, it was the rule that a federal agency could not issue a license or permit to conduct any activity that could result in a discharge into navigable waters unless the affected state or tribe certified that the discharge. The Clean Water Act was complied with and state law, or waived certification.

In 2020 the Trump administration curtailed that review power after complaints from Republicans in Congress and the fossil fuel industry that state officials had used the permitting process to halt new energy projects. The Trump administration said its actions would advance then-President Donald Trump’s goal of fast-tracking energy projects such as oil and natural gas pipelines.

States, Native American tribes and environmental groups sued. Several mostly Republican-led states, a national trade union representing the oil and gas industry, and others have intervened to defend the Trump-era regime. The states involved in the case are: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Wyoming and Texas.

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