Friday, January 31, 2020

Polis Starts Water Fight

Gov. Jared Polis | David Zalubowski/AP
Another war has erupted between Colorado and the federal government, this time concerning water and the federal government’s authority over its use by private owners and local government agencies. Governor Polis loudly condemned the new rules from the EPA and Department of the Army for reversing requirements for federal studies and permits on water tributary to primary navigable streams and identified tributaries. It excludes many streams and bodies of water the Obama administration wanted to include under federal jurisdiction (Waters of the U.S.).

Colorado Gov. Polis denounces EPA’s new water rules, Pueblo Chieftain, 1-23-20

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis accused President Trump of seeking to ‘gut’ water protections, Colorado Politics, 1-23-20

Most local water agencies and private water users, such as farmers and ranchers, opposed the Obama rules as bureaucratic overreach. Obama’s effort faced numerous legal challenges, some of which were successful in staying enforcement of the new rules. The Trump administration has now reversed Obama’s approach in the name of “regulatory certainty….to support the economy and accelerate critical infrastructure projects.”

Expect a long battle.

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