California regulators voted Tuesday to strengthen state safeguards for thousands of wetlands and streams that are about to lose federal protections in a Trump administration rollback of the Clean Water Act.
Nearly 90% of California’s historic wetlands have been filled in or plowed under, and the state has said it is vital to preserve what remains.
The new state rules will insulate California from Washington’s efforts to drop regulations that prevent the destruction of isolated wetlands and seasonal streams.
The looming federal rollback increased pressure on the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt protections that have been under consideration for more than a decade, ever since a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings left authorities confused about which waters are covered by the federal law.
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