The U.S. Senate approved the measure Thursday in a 54 to 45 vote that went largely along party lines, with backing from Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman, and a “no” vote from Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The House of Representatives approved it 228 to 194 on Wednesday, with support from all Ohio’s Republicans and opposition from all of the state’s Democrats.

Marietta Republican Rep. Bill Johnson – who introduced the measure – said the stream protection rule was “designed for one purpose–to regulate the coal mining industry out of business. It is the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s war on coal.”

Democrats argued the rule was needed to protect the health of people who live near mines from hazards like lung cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, birth defects, hypertension, and other problems caused by open pit mine runoff.

“If this body is seriously going to weaken vital drinking water protections, the American people deserve ample opportunities to inform themselves and to make their voices heard,” said Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin. “This rushed-through proposal denies them that opportunity.

The repeal was hailed by mining interests, who said they expected President Donald Trump will swiftly sign it.

“The alleged ‘Stream Protection Rule,’ was never about the environment and was always about carrying out the previous administrations radical anti coal agenda,” said a statement from Ohio Coal Association President Christian Palich. “If implemented the rule would have killed thousands of jobs, while depriving families’ access to affordable energy.”

Environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters said the repeal shows the GOP-led Congress was making sure “federal government works for Big Polluters above all else.”

“This is simply the first step in President Trump’s war on clean water and the environment more broadly,” said a statement from the organization’s president, Gene Karpinski.

 A pro-coal sign distributed to delegates at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (Sabrina Eaton, Cleveland.com)