Stein, NC DEQ Make Arguments Against Water Rule Change

Stein, NC DEQ Make Arguments Against Water Rule Change

11:17pm Apr 17, 2019
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein speaks to reporters on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Raleigh. (AP Photo/Emery Dalesio)

State Attorney General Josh Stein has made his case for why he opposes rollbacks to a federal rule that expanded protections of the Clean Water Act.

Stein has long opposed the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the water rules. This week, he took advantage of an open comment period on the measure to explain why.

In a 22-page letter submitted alongside the state Department of Environmental Quality, Stein says population growth is occurring rapidly in the state’s coastal plain, where 95 percent of the state’s wetlands exist. Without the federal protections, he says those waters could be at risk.

Stein argues the rule would harm the coastal economy and increase the chances of flooding in areas already hard hit by hurricanes.

The Waters of the United States rule dates back to the Obama Administration. It expanded the EPA’s oversight to smaller bodies of water including tributaries and wetlands.

The Trump Administration considers the rule an act of government overreach.

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