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Sen. Carper questions EPA effort to repeal clean water rule

Delaware Public Media
Sen. Tom Carper

Sen.Tom Carper is questioning the Trump Administration’s effort to repeal a rule protecting drinking water from contamination.

In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, he asked why information showing the economic benefits of preventing water pollution was deleted.

In 2015, the EPA enacted a rule that applied protections on large bodies of water to wetlands and water flowing into larger rivers.

The regulation affected farmers, ranchers and real estate developers, who opposed the rule. But former President Obama’s administration determined the benefits were greater than the costs - finding an annual economic benefit of more than 550 million dollars a year from the rule.

But the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the rule showed no economic benefit to retain the protections. Carper’s letter says he’s been told political appointees told EPA career staff to delete that information.

Carper’s requesting documents from the EPA by the end of the month. He’s also asked the the Government Accountability Office to look at hiring practices at the EPA. The GAO said last week it would review whether the EPA is complying with ethics rules.

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