"In 2006, developers, mining companies and agribusinesses convinced the George W. Bush administration to scale back a proposal that would have widened federal protections for wetlands and waterways in the wake of a muddled Supreme Court ruling on Clean Water Act enforcement."
"But just before the release of the regulatory guidance, an industry attorney who had snared a leaked copy objected in emails to the White House.
The Bush administration pulled back the proposal, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality launched a nine-month review. When the guidance was finally released in June 2007, its interpretation of federal regulatory authority was narrower than what U.S EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers had proposed.
Now, the Obama administration is reviewing another Clean Water Act enforcement guidance that would not only replace the 2007 policies but also revive language that industry groups killed in the Bush years.
And there's a new lobbying battle under way, with environmentalists fighting to preserve the language and industry representatives pushing to have it struck.
Groups on both sides have pressed their case in at least 12 meetings with the White House in the past six weeks. More than two dozen industry representatives met last week with officials from the Office of Management and Budget and other agencies."
Paul Quinlan reports for Greenwire April 18, 2012.