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 Post subject: TU/Clean Water & Trump
PostPosted: February 10th, 2020, 3:25 pm 
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I know that politics are frowned upon here, but this is really an environment story.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/opin ... trump.html


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2020, 8:06 pm 
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I know enough to be dangerous on this one. What the current administration is doing is criminal IMO, but if the heads of the justice department and EPA are on your side- who is there to do the prosecution?

Brief synopsis:

The ‘Waters of the US’ rule was enacted by the Obama administration following a court ruling that determined headwater streams and wetlands were governed under the Clean Water Act, forcing the administration to develop rules for governing such. The Obama administration kicked it to the legislative branch, who fumbled the football hard, forcing the administration to develop rules brought into play by the courts.

Ultimately, a handful of agricultural states, where agricultural ditching of headwater streams and wetlands is the norm rather than an exception, sued. The issue is that those ditches would become regulated under the Clean Water Act. As you might expect of a poorly dug ditch, many are significant sources of sediment discharging to downstream waters. The WotUS rule was meant to protect headwater streams and wetlands, and bring the more disastrous agricultural ditch experiments in line in an attempt to protect downstream waters.

Those states that brought suit, preferring home rule, took their issue to the current administration while is now using it to not only roll back the WotUS rule, but also undo many of the protections instituted under he original Clean Water Act. Want to bulldoze some wetlands? Strip a mountaintop to fill in a stream? Dog a new pipeline across numerous waters? The sad part is this has been a calculated campaign by one side of the aisle over a number of years to roll back the Clean Water Act.

Think it won’t have a ripple affect here in Maine due to our natural resource protection laws? I wouldn’t be so sure. Under the LePage administration many things were streamlined at the State government level. For one- he eliminated many of the permitting oversight activities at the State level where there was redundancy at the Federal level. With the Federal level being rolled back- it may be time to look at tightening the State’s NRPA laws, etc...

Oh- and for those not following- the current administration has also exempted many environmental reviews associated with protected species, provided your project is big. So- if you want to be really destructive- dream big...

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2020, 12:40 pm 
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Following up on my post from yesterday. The impacts to the CWA are, in my opinion, a sideshow to draw attention away from the diminishment of the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA was the first major environmental policy passed in the US and is considered by many to be the “Magna Carta” of environmental law. Without it, reviews with regard to other important environmental acts (e.g., CWA, ESA) are not necessarily triggered. This has big implications and should be something folks are vocal about to their state officials (including the Governor’s and AG’s offices).

You really only have to look at the DOI’s website listing press releases affirmative to this administration’s stance on NEPA to understand how broad of an effect the new policy on NEPA will have. It’s almost comical that the current administration is doing this, given how much the current ruling party derided the last administration for creating policy at the administrative level rather than via the legislative branch. But it’s not comical at all given the circumstances of what will be affected.

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2020, 1:26 pm 
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Thanks Hunter & kmudgen for this useful info.

I feel better day by day knowing that people who frequent this site and also use the natural resources of this State for enjoyment voted to destroy it for the rest of us responsible stewards.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2020, 1:28 pm 
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Hunter wrote:
Following up on my post from yesterday. The impacts to the CWA are, in my opinion, a sideshow to draw attention away from the diminishment of the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA was the first major environmental policy passed in the US and is considered by many to be the “Magna Carta” of environmental law. Without it, reviews with regard to other important environmental acts (e.g., CWA, ESA) are not necessarily triggered. This has big implications and should be something folks are vocal about to their state officials (including the Governor’s and AG’s offices).

You really only have to look at the DOI’s website listing press releases affirmative to this administration’s stance on NEPA to understand how broad of an effect the new policy on NEPA will have. It’s almost comical that the current administration is doing this, given how much the current ruling party derided the last administration for creating policy at the administrative level rather than via the legislative branch. But it’s not comical at all given the circumstances of what will be affected.


Great observation Dave- NEPA is under fire. As Dave mentioned, NEPA was the first and once the ESA, CWA, CAA, RCRA were passed, NEPA consolidated and created vigorous federal environmental review, no matter was in charge at 1600 Pennsylvania. No matter how you may feel about other parts of this administration's actions, this is a serious threat to headwaters and wetlands- clean water overall. The gains in environmental quality in this country achieved in the last 50 years and the protections for the next 50 are seriously at risk. Please don't let it happen.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2020, 3:25 pm 
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Realistically, the Trump supporters just do not care. They all fall into line and obey the great leader.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2020, 9:55 pm 
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AusableWulff wrote:
Realistically, the Trump supporters just do not care. They all fall into line and obey the great leader.

No wonder political issues don’t play well here. Comments like these reduce the issue to petty name-calling. Claiming a voter doesn’t care just because they don’t fall in line with your thinking is about as bad as it gets.
All voters have to reconcile a whole slew of issues when they vote; and if they truly didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother leaving their home to go stand in line at their polling location. Just because they don’t prioritize the same things you do, doesn’t mean they don’t care.
I don’t like what Is happening with environmental protection or climate change with this administration and that will be a very high priority for me in November.

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PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 4:57 pm 
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maineangler, I'm glad to hear that environmental protection is a high priority to you. It is to me as well.

However, I could not care less that political threads do not play well here. I care more about protecting the environment and its natural resources that I enjoy and appreciate to the exclusion of pretty much any other activity, and if your politics is detrimental to that, to hell with you. I find it offensive that people who vote for an administration hell bent on environmental deregulation participate on a forum, that has as one if its goal the protection of natural resources. They are a cancer to that goal. Cancer should not be coddled, it should be excised.

I also do not care if speaking the truth is offense to people. Sorry snowflakes, its not my fault you fall into a stereotype, and if you think I'm wrong about Trump supporters not falling into line, show me one who has opposed him.

And if one's list of "priorities" is basically voting for Trump because of your economic well being, another big to hell with you too. Setting the environment aside, voting your pocketbook while overlooking the disabusing of brown people of their children and throwing them into cages, reserves a very special room in hell for you. That's about as admirable as the church was during the holocaust.

I could go on, and on , and on as there is plenty of rotten fruit to pick from the Trump tree. But I won't, as I mostly just want to point out its no good for our goals to not confront people who are ignorantly taking action against them.


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