The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

An Arizona district court annulled a Trump era water policy. How this could affect Arizonans

Published: Monday, October 11, 2021 - 11:45am
Updated: Monday, October 18, 2021 - 10:05am
Audio icon Download mp3 (14.53 MB)

For the Environmental Protection Agency to establish rules and regulations regarding the protection of America’s waterways, it first must define what constitutes a public body of water. Manipulating that definition allows the EPA to increase or decrease the amount of regulations on waterways, and that is exactly what the Trump administration did by enacting the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in 2020.

The move was a boon to some farmers and ranchers, but worried environmental groups as it significantly cut back the scope of bodies of water that were subject to federal oversight. But now, an Arizona district court is turning back the clock on the Trump administration’s new rule.

In a September decision, the court vacated the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The Show spoke to those who think this is both a good decision —  and a harmful one.

Cyndi Tuell oversees Arizona and New Mexico for the Western Watersheds Project. And she said it will have ripple effects in protecting our water sources in the Southwest.

Stefanie Smallhouse is president of the Arizona Farm Bureau. She said it’s all about clarity for her members, and that this move makes things more cumbersome.

More Stories From KJZZ

Politics Science Sustainability The Show Water