Clean Water Act | KUNC

Clean Water Act

Many business interests are cheering President Trump's recent rollback of water regulations put in place by the Obama administration. But companies that make money protecting clean water could take a big hit.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency's own science advisers.

A congressional subcommittee questioned the Trump administration on Wednesday over its rollback of Obama-era Clean Water Act protections.

Christina Spicuzza / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is making $20 million available for states and tribes to voluntarily test drinking water for lead at schools and childcare facilities.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Farming in the fertile Midwest is tied to an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But scientists are studying new ways to lessen the Midwest’s environmental impact and improve water quality.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the so-called “dead zone,” an area of sea without enough oxygen to support most marine life, to grow larger than the size of Connecticut, or roughly 6,000 square miles.  

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

On a gray day, just as the rain begins to fall, Roger Zylstra stops his red GMC Sierra pick-up truck on the side of the road and hops down into a ditch in Jasper County, Iowa. It takes two such stops before he unearths amid the tall weeds and grasses what he’s looking for.

“Here is one of the tiles,” he says, pointing to a pipe about six or eight inches in diameter. Water trickles from it into a culvert that runs under the road after flowing through a network of underground drainage lines below his farm field. “That’s where it outlets.”

Water like this is called runoff and it can contain harmful chemicals, such as nitrates from fertilizer that plants don’t absorb or excess pesticides. For years, contaminants like these have reached public waterways.

MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr

Residents living in the midst of the oil and gas boom often wonder if their drinking water may be contaminated by the drilling process.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working on improving ways to test for that. Agency scientists recently published results of a method to test for five chemicals that often appear in fracturing fluid.

Wikimedia Commons

A potential piece of legislation proposed by Congressman Cory Gardner (R) regarding water storage is being criticized by Fort Collins environmental group Save the Poudre. At stake is the future of the Northern Integrated Supply Project or NISP.

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of an Idaho couple who were prevented from building their dream home after the Environmental Protection Agency barred them from building on their land. The agency claimed the property was protected wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act.

The ruling gives property owners the right to challenge an EPA compliance order from the time it is issued, rather than waiting for the agency to begin enforcement actions.

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