Attorney General Morrisey, 17-State Coalition Supports EPA Plan to Ease Burden on Farmers, Landowners

Updated 1 week ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led a 17-state coalition this week to support farmers and landowners by urging the Trump administration to adopt its proposed replacement of the Obama-era, Waters of the United States rule.

 
The coalition, in comments filed late Monday, argued the Trump administration’s proposal would restore reasonable, predictable lines between waters subject to federal and state regulation.
 
“The proposed rule gives renewed certainty to farmers, landowners and job creators,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Its adoption will provide a sensible, predictable definition so that everyone knows when and if they are subject to the federal Clean Water Act. Such clarity will spur economic growth as job creators and developers can invest with certainty.”
 
Attorney General Morrisey has been a national leader in fighting against the Obama-era regulation since its issuance in June 2015. In December, he stood on stage with Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency as its then acting administrator announced the proposal.
 
The coalition believes the new rule will correct flaws within the 2015 regulation, which extended authority of the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers far beyond what Congress intended and the Constitution permits.
 
The Trump proposal also shows respect for the primary responsibility and right of states to regulate their own water resources.
 
Attorney General Morrisey has repeatedly led lawsuits challenging the Obama-era rule and related efforts by environmentalists to implement their radical agenda. His persistence helped win a stay that blocked enforcement of the rule in October 2015, a victory West Virginia continues to benefit from, as it proved crucial in providing time for a new administration and reconsideration of the rule.
 
The 2015 WOTUS rule, if implemented, would have taken jurisdiction over natural resources from states and asserted federal authority over almost any body of water, including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and many other areas where water may flow once every 100 years.
 
The Attorney General attended a White House ceremony in February 2017, during which President Trump directed EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review WOTUS, begin efforts to rescind the regulation and take appropriate steps in litigation.
 
West Virginia signed the letter with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
 
Read the public comments filing at http://bit.ly/2V1rGJh.
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