Texas state leaders and agriculture groups – wary an Obama-era clean water rule amounted to a land grab – hailed President Donald Trump's executive order directing the EPA to reconsider it.
The 1972 federal Clean Water Act made it illegal to pollute "navigable waters of the United States," and the "Waters of the U.S." rule – finalized by President Barack Obama but put on hold by an appeals court in 2015 – was intended to clarify which bodies of water the feds could police.
The issue resonated among ranchers and industry officials in the Lone Star State, The Texas Tribune reported.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was among state attorneys general who challenged the rule, called the executive order "a significant step toward repealing the rule and getting the American economy back on track," adding it posed "a burden to Texas property owners," the Tribune reported.
And Richard Thorpe, president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, also condemned the rule as "a misguided attempt to control water on our ranches and private lands by imposing overly burdensome regulations and harsh penalties on landowners," the Tribune reported.
"It would destroy the livelihoods of Texas ranchers by regulating them out of business, and threaten our ability to provide America with a safe and affordable food supply," he said in a statement, per the Tribune.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to immediately implement the order – and propose a new rule that will "rescind or revise that rule," according to the report.
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