More States Join Challenge of Waters of US Rule

Updated 4 years ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey  announced the state of Indiana and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources have joined the bipartisan multi-state coalition challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule that unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over small streams, land and farms.

The growing coalition also today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that, if granted, would block the federal agencies from beginning to enforce this unlawful rule, known generally as the “Waters of the United States” rule. Within hours of the filing, Chief Judge Lisa G. Wood issued a ruling requiring expedited briefing, with oral arguments on the injunction motion slated for Aug. 12.
“This rule is another brazen regulatory overreach on the part of the federal government, and I’m pleased to have the additional support of officials in Indiana and North Carolina in our effort to fight back against it,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
“I also welcome the judge’s swift action to allow for prompt consideration of our preliminary injunction motion,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This will give us the opportunity to make our case for why this rule should not be allowed to go into effect. This rule clearly does not pass legal muster and it should be halted before our citizens are burdened with the hefty price of this regulatory onslaught.”
Last month, Attorney General Morrisey led a bipartisan coalition of nine Attorneys General in filing a lawsuit challenging the rule. The coalition now includes Attorneys General from West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The “Waters of the United States” rule was published in the Federal Register June 29, with the agencies set to begin enforcement of the rule Aug. 28. The now eleven-state coalition on Tuesday asked a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the federal agencies from beginning to enforce the rule. The states argue the rule violates the law and would do irreparable damage to the states and their citizens if it were enforced.
“Earlier this month, my Office hosted a town hall in Putnam County, where we heard from dozens of residents and business owners who were afraid this rule would infringe on their property rights and force them to pay thousands of dollars to do basic work around their homes, farms and workplaces,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This rule strips states of their legal right to regulate small waterways and will force homeowners, farmers and other entities to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy to obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks like digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers.”
A copy of the motion filed Tuesday can be viewed here:
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