US Supreme Court temporarily brings back Trump's water rule

Washington DC - The United States Supreme Court has temporarily reinstated a water rule originally put in place by the Trump administration.

The Supreme Court voted to reinstate a controversial Trump-era water rule on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court voted to reinstate a controversial Trump-era water rule on Wednesday.  © IMAGO / Danita Delimont

A vote to bring back Trump's rule took place Wednesday and won with four out of the nine justices opposing it.

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for years included a rule that federal agencies conducting water projects must get authorization from the state or any Indigenous tribe that may be affected.

It allowed groups to voice concerns about the possibility of pollution, and halt the project if they could prove it didn't comply with state law or the Clean Water Act.

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In 2020, former president Donald Trump and his administration sought to replace the rule in an effort to speed up energy projects such as building new pipelines. Critics have argued that the measure ignores certain communities and silences any conversation on polluting natural water sources.

Many Republicans and energy companies supported the move, but it received heavy criticism from states, environmental groups, and Native American Tribes, who banded together to sue the administration.

The Biden administration has shown interest in rewriting the rule, but an official revision won't be ready until Spring 2023.

Until the current administration makes their own revisions, Trump's rule will remain in place.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Danita Delimont

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