President Donald Trump signed a bill that reverses Obama-era rules that prohibited the federal government from regulating or otherwise taking over state or local land use.
The law reverses the Obama administration’s 2014 rule, which required states and localities to protect endangered species.
The act also restores a law that banned landfills from discharging waste and reduces pollution from agricultural landfilling.
Trump signed the bill Friday afternoon.
The Interior Department is responsible for enforcing the law.
The bill would also allow states and counties to develop their own regulations on how much and how often they can discharge waste, and it would allow them to set up special programs to recover and reuse landfiller waste.
The National Wildlife Federation applauded the bill, saying it would help farmers, ranchers and small business owners recover from the “federal takeover of their lands.”
The bill has been endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which said in a statement that it is “a vital step forward in the recovery of our nation’s farmland, and a crucial step forward for farmers, farmers, and ranchers everywhere.”
In addition to restoring the EPA and its rules, the bill also directs the Interior Department to study the impacts of the rule change on the endangered species Act of 2017, which prohibits federal landfill permits for livestock, including cattle and sheep, unless the landfiler has shown “good cause” to believe that a species is threatened with extinction.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also reviewing the rule, as is the Department of Agriculture.
In a statement Friday, the USDA said it would review the rule in a timely manner to determine whether it complies with the law, which also bans the federal regulation of “agricultural activities that substantially interfere with, threaten, or disrupt” native species.
“We will review any proposed rule changes, and will ensure they do not violate the law,” the USDA wrote in a separate statement.
The USDA and Interior Department have been working on the rule since early in the Trump administration, when the agency received complaints about landfilled cattle that were “discharging manure, or causing a hazard to aquatic resources,” the Associated Press reported.
Trump’s signing of the bill comes just weeks after he signed the largest environmental overhaul in U.P. history, which has already caused widespread economic hardship and environmental devastation.
The new rules allow landfilers to discharge waste from their equipment, as well as for the first time in more than 50 years, permit the production of livestock waste from “a new, permanent source,” and allow for “continuous disposal of agricultural wastes in federally owned lands.”
They also restore a rule that requires states and territories to restore their landfelling.