In 2015, the Obama administration, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers applied the Waters of the United States rule to clean up our nation’s bodies of water.
On its face, the Waters of the United States rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. But opponents condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch. Politico article
A large list of industries opposed Obama’s environmental regulations including factories, manufacturers, farmers and yes….golf courses.
Under the law, all golf courses in the country, including a few big golf courses that are owned by Donald Trump, would be subject to closer government scrutiny.
Bob Helland, with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, says the average golf course has over 11 acres of streams, ponds and wetlands that could be affected. Under the rule, courses may now need federal permission before applying fertilizer or pesticides. NPR article
This new law is certainly a thorn in Trump’s side. Conveniently, Trump chose Scott Pruitt, a ferocious opponent of the EPA to lead….the EPA. While Pruitt was Oklahoma attorney general, he even filed a lawsuit to overturn it.
An even larger stroke of luck for our president is that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case involving the Water of the United States rule, later this month. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court could potentially hear the case.
Republicans have been sculpting a plan that would even kill the waters rule earlier. If Congress votes to kill the rule then, it wouldn’t even have to go to the Supreme Court. Republican Sens. Joni Ernst and Deb Fischer have introduced a resolution to start such a process.