Friday, August 19, 2022


A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.


Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.


More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Undoing of Trump-Era Clean-Water Rule Creates Optimism, Uncertainty


Monday, September 13, 2021   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Opponents of rollbacks to the Trump-era Clean Water Act say 90% of New Mexico's waters were left unprotected and hope a recent court decision will be a turning point.

A federal judge ruled the Trump administration's 2020 "Navigable Waters Protection Rule" was too flawed to keep in place. That means for now, instead of falling under federal jurisdiction, the status of ephemeral or intermittent streams will be subject to case-by-case determinations.

Rachel Conn, deputy director of the water advocacy group Amigos Bravos in Taos, said arid states such as New Mexico need their own rules.

"We are a very dry state, as we all know, and we have many waters that don't flow year-round, and it is all of those waters that had been left unprotected," Conn observed.

The rule removed protections for hundreds of thousands of intermittent streams and wetlands that feed and support the Rio Grande. It also left others across the country vulnerable to pollution from development. Prior to the ruling, the Biden administration said it planned to repeal the Trump rule and issue new regulations under the Clean Water Act.

Conn argued a new approach is critical to New Mexico because it's the only Western state the Environmental Protection Agency has not authorized to manage its own discharge permitting program to protect surface water.

"We're one of only three states that hasn't gotten that delegation to do the permitting for discharges into waters," Conn explained. "You have to go through that process with the EPA to get that delegation."

Conn added water-advocacy groups want the Biden administration and agencies it oversees to implement flexible rules to address arid conditions.

"A one-size-fits-all approach that has been implemented in the past often results in western states like New Mexico being forced into a regulatory paradigm that's really been developed for more temperate conditions," Conn contended.

Farmers and real-estate developers opposed the 2015 change to clean-water laws under the Obama administration as federal overreach, while President Donald Trump called it unconstitutional.

Disclosure: Amigos Bravos contributes to our fund for reporting on the Environment, Environmental Justice, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …

Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…


The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …

A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…


Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021