The Trump administration is expected to announce reductions to the waters protected by the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in a couple of hours. The change is expected to remove at least some wetlands, ephemeral streams, and headwaters streams from the waters covered by the rule.
According to MSNBC,
Mark Ryan, a lawyer at Ryan & Kuehler PLLC who spent 24 years as a clean water expert and litigator at the EPA, said water systems called headwaters in high regions of the country could lose protections under the new definitions being proposed by the Trump administration.
“I think the mining is going to benefit from this because mines tend to be up in the mountains near headwater systems,” Ryan said.
Miners may no longer need to apply for a permit before pushing waste from operations, such as rubble from mountain-top coal mining in the eastern United States, into some streams.