The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army say they want to revisit which waters they can regulate.

The June 9 announcement opens another chapter in a complex regulatory fight. The Obama administration sought to clarify federal Clean Water Act authority, which had become muddied by court rulings.

But farmers said the resulting waters of the United States proposal overstepped the law’s bounds and would be a burden on agriculture. The Trump administration produced narrower rules.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the agencies have concluded that the current rule is leading to “significant environmental degradation.”

Determinations that waters fall under federal jurisdiction have fallen 25 percentage points as a result of the latest rule change, said Jaime Pinkham, acting assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.

Regan said he hoped to learn from the current and previous versions of the WOTUS rule and said he would seek input from a wide range of stakeholders in creating a new edition.


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