clean water

Supreme Court will hear Idaho challenge to clean water law

The Supreme Court opened the door to a possible revision of wetlands regulations by agreeing to decide whether Michael and Chantell Sackett can build a house in the Idaho panhandle. Justices will hear the case even though the Biden administration is writing a new definition of the upstream reach of the Clean Water Act.

FDA proposes water rule for produce growers

Fruit and vegetable growers would be required to conduct annual assessments of their water supplies to identify and mitigate threats of contamination for their crops under a rule proposed by the FDA on Thursday. The assessments would replace a requirement that growers conduct tests of water quality.

Biden administration will replace Trump clean water rule

Shortly after telling senators that he wanted a "long-term, durable solution," EPA administrator Michael Regan said on Wednesday that the Biden administration would write a new definition of the upstream reach of clean water laws. The process would include repeal of the 2020 Trump-era rule that replaced 2015 Obama water regulations the farm sector decried as federal overreach.

New market planned to pay farmers for soil carbon, water quality

General Mills, ADM, Cargill, McDonalds, and The Nature Conservancy are among 10 companies and nonprofit organizations that are forming a national market by 2022 to incentivize the adoption of farming practices that build soil carbon and improve water conservation.

Trump announces plan to roll back WOTUS rule

President Trump announced a plan to roll back Obama-era clean water regulations that aimed to protect rivers and streams from agricultural runoff and other pollutants. It will remove vast wetlands and thousands of miles of waterways from federal protection.

Iowa’s water quality suffers without a fix in sight

More than 200 of Iowa’s community water systems struggle with agricultural runoff, periodically issuing “Do Not Drink” orders because of high levels of nitrates. “The good news is that researchers have a pretty good handle on how to solve Iowa’s water problem,” reports Elizabeth Royte in FERN’s latest story, with National Geographic. (No paywall)

Study: Many U.S. lakes are keeping up with pollution, if not exactly getting cleaner

Lake pollution has largely remained unchanged since 1990, despite expanding agriculture, urban development and climate change, says a study of 3,000 lakes in the Midwest and eastern states. Seven percent of the lakes in the study saw increases in phosphorus — a common component of farm runoff that’s implicated in toxic green-algae blooms. Nine percent of those lakes saw improvements.

EPA’s Pruitt says he will bring clarity to clean water law

The EPA will provide clarity to the reach of the clean water law with its revisions of the so-called Waters of the United States that was proposed by the Obama administration and blocked by court challenges, said administrator Scott Pruitt in a Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette interview. Pruitt said the new rule would be “objectively measured and traditional in its view of how we should measure waters of the United States.”