The Bush administration announced yesterday that it plans to consider new rules for enforcing the Clean Water Act. Some conservative lawmakers have been pressuring the administration to revise the enforcement rules since January 2001, when the Supreme Court imposed new limits on the scope of the act. Some interpreted that court ruling to suggest that the federal government should leave more water pollution control up to the states, but environmentalists fear that doing so would leave hundreds of thousands of miles of isolated streams, tributaries, and wetlands without critical protection, and they see the move as another effort by the White House to gut environmental regulations. For its part, the administration contends that it is merely trying to clarify the act’s jurisdiction.
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