Scientists in the News

As Trump tries to roll back clean water rules, California seeks stronger protections

“I’m paying for this land, but I can’t farm it,” Goehring says. “This land is doing nothing for me.”Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

California farmers are worried about seeing more cropland lost to regulation, while they are caught in the middle of a tug-of-water between President Trump’s administration and the state over the reach of the federal Clean Water Act. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to rein in the landmark law and halt what it sees as excessive oversight of small marshes, creeks and ponds, like the scores that spill across California’s farm country. State regulators are seeking to maintain and even expand watershed protections. They say too many waterways have been eaten up by human sprawl.