At Trump’s direction, U.S. reduces upstream reach of clean water law

Decrying what it called regulatory overreach, the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it will limit enforcement of clean water laws to oceans, rivers, core tributaries, and adjacent wetlands. Environmentalists said the move would leave half of U.S. wetlands and millions of miles of streams without protection from pollution.

USDA considers consolidating some offices with other departments

When "USDA" and "co-location of offices" appear in the same sentence, it usually means there's a proposal to consolidate USDA's local operations, particularly crop subsidy and land stewardship, into the same building. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue talked about co-location at the Iowa Ag Summit, but he meant a central location for handling permits from the USDA, Interior Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reports Agri-Pulse.

Two House committee chairs call for dismissal of wetlands lawsuit

California farmer John Duarte, the poster boy for farm groups complaining of federal over-regulation of wetlands, has high-powered supporters in Congress who are appealing for the government to drop its long-running case against him. The Republican chairmen of the House Agriculture and Judiciary committees wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions to argue that the case against Duarte is unfounded.

Late start, early end of barge season in Twin Cities area

The shipping season is ending early on the upper reaches of the Mississippi River because ice is making navigation difficult. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the towboat Mary K Cavarra passed through Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minn, on Thursday.