Environmentalists fear Trump water rule could impact Delaware, other area rivers

Trenton, Delawre River, new jersey environment

FRANK KUMMER / PHILLY.COM – First came rollbacks of air and fuel emissions rules.

Now, the Trump administration has proposed a rule it says will boost economic growth by removing confusion about which waterways can be regulated. Environmentalists and conservationists, however, contend the plan will mean open season on developing land that should be regulated to avoid contaminating water, potentially allowing even pipeline development on sensitive properties.

They fear it even could weaken protections around the headwaters of the Delaware River.

Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the new rule calls for six categories of water sources that should allow property owners to determine whether water on their land would be federally regulated without the need to hire costly engineers. He said the Obama administration’s 2015 rule that the Trump administration wants to replace was about grabbing more federal power, not protecting water quality …

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