Arkansas, Missouri attorneys general file lawsuit against Biden Administration over clean water rule
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Edited News Release/KY3) - Attorneys general from Arkansas, Missouri, and 21 other states filed lawsuits against the Biden Administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule.
The lawsuit asserts President Biden’s interpretation of WOTUS “goes beyond the power Congress delegated in the Clean Water Act, raises serious constitutional concerns, and runs roughshod over the Administrative Procedure Act.”
“I want to enforce the laws as written, which includes ensuring that the Biden administration can’t enact rules whenever it wants without express congressional authority,” said Attorney General Bailey. “Our nation was founded on the idea of the separation of powers, and I will take any legal action necessary to protect the rights of Missouri farmers from being encroached upon by unelected federal bureaucrats who attempt to illegally expand their authority.”
The Trump administration replaced the Obama administration’s controversial 2015 WOTUS rule with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which created a clear distinction between federal waters and waters subject to the sole control of the states, their governmental subdivisions, and tribes. President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office that began rolling back the Trump administration reforms, finalized in December when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its new rule repealing the NWPR and repackaged the 2015 Obama rule. The new rule redefines “navigable waters” to include ponds, specific streams, ditches, and other bodies of water under the Clean Waters Act, as determined by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The attorneys general argue the rule will affect farmers who need permission from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to fill or dredge wetlands or waterways. They also argue developers, miners, and other property owners wishing to use their land will face implications, too.
“Our office fully supports Attorney General Bailey’s lawsuit against the Biden Administration as we fight back against their radical climate agenda,” Governor Mike Parson said. “The lawsuit seeks to protect Missouri farmers, ranchers, and business owners and achieve clearer guidance and more commonsense definitions on what regulated waters actually are and should be for communities across the state. Missouri’s agriculture community is lucky to have Attorney General Bailey fighting on their behalf, and we know he’ll do everything he can to support them, fight for them, and win for them.”
Joining Missouri in filing this lawsuit are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The lawsuit can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/as-filed-wotus-rule-c1.pdf?sfvrsn=89fd5df4_2
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