Early in the coming year, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll back clean water rules, abolishing limits on how much pollution can be dumped into small streams and wetlands.
Federal data suggest 81% of streams in the Southwest would lose protections. A large share of streams in California and other Western states will be hard hit.
Nowhere are the stakes as high as in New Mexico. Environmental regulators in the state estimate that the new rule could leave 96% of the state’s waterways and wetlands unprotected from pollution from coal mines, factory waste, pesticide runoff and other sources.