AGRICULTURE/ENVIRONMENT/OBAMA ADMIN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday [12-11-18] to unveil a plan that would weaken federal clean water rules designed to protect millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams nationwide from pesticide runoff and other pollutants. Environmentalists say the proposal represents a historic assault on wetlands regulation at a moment when Mr. Trump has repeatedly voiced a commitment to ‘crystal-clean water.’ The proposed new rule would chip away at safeguards put in place a quarter century ago, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, who implemented a policy designed to ensure that no wetlands lost federal protection…President Trump, who made a pledge of weakening a 2015 Obama-era rule one of his central campaign pledges, is expected to tout his plan as ending a federal land grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit. Under the Obama rule, farmers using land near streams and wetlands were restricted from doing certain kinds of plowing and planting certain crops, and would have been required to apply for permits from the Environmental Protection Agency in order to use chemical pesticides and fertilizers that could have run off into those water bodies. Under the new Trump plan, which lifts federal protections from many of those streams and wetlands, those requirements will also be lifted.”

Coral Davenport, “Trump Prepares to Unveil a Vast Reworking of Clean Water Protections,” The New York Times online, December 10, 2018