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Federal and state protections of wetlands and other water bodies could be reduced

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Lifting protections for wetlands and streams at the federal and state level could be approved soon.

A combination of state and federal proposals to change protections of wetlands and streams could damage waterways. 

The Trump administration proposes to strip some protections from wetlands and other bodies of water. State legislators propose removing protections for wetlands smaller than ten acres. They also don’t want Michigan agencies to exceed federal rules.

“Things like the wetlands bill here in the state are direct attacks on local waterways and our Great Lakes here in Michigan,” said Mary Brady Enerson with Clean Water Action. 

But Laura Campbell with the Michigan Farm Bureau says the changes at the federal and state levels will reduce confusing and sometimes conflicting rules for farmers and developers.

Here are waters that we regulate at the state level and we’re going to follow the federal rules for anything that’s regulated at the federal level," she said.

Environmentalists counter, saying the cost could be more contaminated water and damage to wildlife populations such as ducks and fish.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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