Arizona Streams Affected By Finalized Waters Of The U.S. Rule

By Bret Jaspers
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 3:30pm
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 9:29am
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.12 MB)

Sustainability coverage is supported in part by Intel

The Trump administration is finalizing its rule rolling back protections for some waterways. This will affect hundreds of thousands of miles of Arizona streams.

The new definition of Waters of the United States reverses Obama-era protections for so-called “ephemeral” streams — areas that contain water after a rainstorm and may flow into larger waterways.

The rule as proposed means businesses that wanted to build or discharge waste in those areas would not need a federal permit.

In its comment on the proposed rule, Arizona state agencies were in favor of what the administration is doing, although they asked for a delay so the state can create its own plan to regulate ephemeral streams. 

Environmental and conservation groups are opposed to the Trump administration’s action, while mining, development and agricultural groups are supportive.

Science Sustainability