A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to halt a Trump administration rule that barred states from enforcing stricter standards than the U.S. government on pollution of waterways by pipelines and other industrial projects, rejecting arguments by California, other states and environmental groups.
For decades, the federal government had allowed states that were considering permits for pipelines, power plants and other industrial construction near navigable waters to enforce tougher restrictions than federal standards, including limits on runoff from agriculture and other wastes and a project’s impact on air quality and climate change. But in July 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump ordered states to apply only the more limited federal standards on water quality.
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