A draft ruling by the Army Corps of Engineers says the Los Angeles River is no longer a navigable waterway, threatening federal protections for the many tributaries that flow into the concrete waterway. Critics say the ruling will make it easier for developers to build along smaller streams that would have enjoyed strict protections under the Clean Water Act if the main river were still considered navigable. "If the [Army] Corps of Engineers applies a similar approach to other rivers, protections against water pollution that are now taken for granted could be seriously eroded throughout the nation," Rep. Henry Waxman wrote in a letter the EPA.

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