Waters of the US | St. Louis Public Radio

Waters of the US

A pond at the Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Environmental advocates say that the Environmental Protection Agency’s repeal of a Clean Water Act rule Thursday could raise the flood risk for Missouri residents.

The EPA established the Waters of the U.S. rule in 2015 to give federal protections to wetlands and small streams connected to major waterways in 22 states. Farmers, miners and business groups complained that the rule imposed undue economic burdens.

Rolling back the Obama-era rule eliminates protections for about 200,000 acres of wetlands behind levees in Missouri, said Maisah Khan, water policy director at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.