27 states sue EPA over waters rule

By |  July 6, 2015

According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), 27 states have filed lawsuits alleging federal expansion over state waters. The challenges say the Waters of the U.S. rule violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana filed a joint complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, claiming the rule is unconstitutional. Ohio and Michigan filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging the expansion of jurisdiction includes dry land. Montana, Alasksa, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, saying the final rule would harm states as regulators of the waters and lands. Finally, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, asking the court to vacate the rule and block its enforcement by injunction.

“The unprecedented legal challenges to this rule by state governments shows that EPA has overstepped its legal authority in attempting to regulate features such as dry stream beds under the Clean Water Act,” says Emily Coyner, NSSGA’s director of environmental affairs.  “NSSGA urges Congress to stop this rule before it puts businesses all over the country at risk.”

The rule becomes effective August 28, reports NSSGA, and more lawsuits are expected in the next week. NSSGA expects the issue to ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court.

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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