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Obama Issues Clean-Water Regulations Fought by Farmers, Congress

This Aug. 3, 2014 file photo shows an algae bloom along the shore of Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio. The Algae bloom rendered the city of Toledo under a State of Emergency after a toxin from the algae polluted the city water supply rendering about 400,000 people in the Toledo area without useable water.

This Aug. 3, 2014 file photo shows an algae bloom along the shore of Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio. The Algae bloom rendered the city of Toledo under a State of Emergency after a toxin from the algae polluted the city water supply rendering about 400,000 people in the Toledo area without useable water.

Photographer: Ty Wright for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Obama administration expanded protections for waterways to keep them free of pollutants, defying the Republican-led Congress as well as farmers, ranchers and builders who fought what they call overreach by government.

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a final regulation on what rivers, streams or wetlands are “waters of the U.S.” subject to federal oversight. The rule, issued after years of debate and delay, will help curb algal blooms or pollutants in waterways like the Mississippi River or bodies such as Lake Erie, the agencies said.