The Trump administration on Thursday lifted protections for millions of miles of wetlands and streams in the United States. They were rules vigorously opposed by farmers who believed that the old rules were an example of government overregulation.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports the changes will scale back which waterways qualify for protection against pollution including pesticides, fertilizers, and mine waste as well as against future developments. The law that was rolled back was known as the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS. It was an effort by the Obama Administration to define which streams and wetlands are protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act.

The Iowa Farm Bureau said that the rule gave the EPA authority over waters in 97% of the state's landmass.

The administration says that the changes will allow farmers to plow their fields without fear of straying over the banks of a federally protected waterway.

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