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The Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida. Photo: Bruce Bennett via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday tossed out a Trump administration rule that rolled back protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the U.S.

Why it matters: Environmental and tribal groups have pushed the court to vacate the rule, which the Biden administration has kept in place while coming up with its own protections policy. The new ruling will expand protections for drinking water supplies for millions of Americans and thousands of wildlife species, per the Washington Post.

What they're saying: U.S. District Judge Rosemary Márquez wrote in the ruling that Trump officials made serious errors while formulating the policy, which replaced Obama-era standards for dredging or filling waterways.

  • "The concerns identified ... are not mere procedural errors or problems that could be remedied through further explanation," Márquez noted. "Rather, they involve fundamental, substantive flaws."
  • Approximately 76% of water bodies reviewed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers between June 22, 2020 and April 15, 2021 did not qualify for federal protection under the new rule, according to Márquez.
  • Federal agencies reported 333 projects that would've required a permit before draining or filling under the Obama rule but did not under Trump's, per the ruling.
  • Leaving it in place would risk "serious environmental harm," Márquez said.

The other side: Some business and farm groups have argued that states are better positioned to regulate their own waterways.

  • Homebuilders, oil drillers and farmers have also said earlier restrictions caused challenges for their work.

What to watch: The ruling will likely face an appeal, according to the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court temporarily reinstates Texas abortion ban

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday temporarily reinstated Texas' controversial abortion ban, hours after the state requested an emergency intervention.

Why it matters: The three-judge panel's decision will allow Texas to once again enforce the ban despite a lower court judge's earlier ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken speaks with Sudan prime minister after his release

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke on the phone on Tuesday evening with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after the military released him from custody.

Why it matters: Hamdok’s release was a result of pressure on Sudan’s military leader General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan from the U.S. and other countries but also from the different political parties in Sudan and massive protests in the streets.