The Trump Administration is considering adjusting federal water disposal rules to allow operators discharge permits that until now have been too costly and difficult to obtain under the 45-year-old Clean Water Act.

At a press conference in Washington D.C. in October, EPA officials said they have launched a study that will examine how the federal government can work with states, tribes, industry and other stakeholders “to understand if technology and support exists for potentially broader discharge regulations for wastewater to surface waters.”

The technology to economically treat wastewater to discharge levels does not yet exist, but it is advancing rapidly, it said.

The breakthrough will come “when EPA actually comes up with discharge standards that give people an incentive to develop these technologies,” observed Leonard Levine, of the Gulf Coast Authority. “Never underestimate the ability of the oil and gas industry to develop technology quickly.”