Tester advocates for Butte in EPA hearing on Capitol Hill

Reaction to the EPA’s decision to end the ‘Clean Water Rule’ on Tuesday brought quick comments both for and against the move.

Montana Senator Steve Daines said the Waters of the US Rule has long been a stone around the neck of private property owners.

“Today marks the beginning of restoring private property rights while protecting our environment,” Daines stated. “Out of state D.C. bureaucrats shouldn’t impose regulations that hurt Montana farmers, ranchers and landowners. We can protect Montana’s pristine water without harming our agriculture economy and violating Montanans’ private property rights,” Daines continued. “I’m thrilled President Trump has heeded the call to halt this disastrous Obama-era policy and that we are allowing Montanans to manage the land they know best.”

However, Missoula Based Environment Montana’s Skye Borden had a much different reaction.

“Repealing the Clean Water Rule turns the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency on its head: the Trump administration is proposing to stop protecting drinking water sources for 234,219 Montanans. It defies common sense, sound science and the will of people of Montana,” Borden said. “What’s going to happen now is probably a lot of litigation, but it also means a giant hole in the regulation. These 63 percent of streams will no longer be protected by the federal government. Some states may act to protect them and some states may not. So, what we have now instead of certainty is just a really big question mark.”

Borden called on the EPA to reconsider the repeal.