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Trump Administration changes clean water rule

Rep. Chris Collins is praising EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for getting rid of an Obama-Era clean water rule known as Waters of the United States. The rule expanded the streams and waterways under federal jurisdiction, including ephemeral waters which are streams which don't run 12 months of the year.

"It depends on where you live and how quickly any of these streams may be affected by this rule," said Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka. "It is safe to say there will be a decrease in water quality in your communities or neighborhoods or areas that are near the small streams, the ephemeral streams."

Jedlicka says there may be somewhere between 500 and 1,000 miles of affected streams in this area.

"There's a difference between a small farm operation and how a private landowner would like to use their land. What we believe is the real intention is the scale back of this rule is really a benefit to large mining, industrial agriculture, a lot of operations out west," Jedlicka said.

The Trump Administration plans to propose a replacement rule late this year. A lawsuit may be flied to stop the move.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.