Attorney General Scott Pruitt called for the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the currently proposed “waters of the United States” rule and replace it with a common-sense alternative.
Attorney General Pruitt submitted a comment letter on the proposed rule of the EPA and Corps of Engineers to expand the definition of the “waters of the United States” that are navigable and therefore fall under regulation of those agencies.
The comments describe how the proposed rule’s overly broad definition of navigable “waters of the United States” would place virtually every river, creek, stream, along with vast amounts of neighboring lands, under the jurisdiction of the EPA and Corps of Engineers. The comments also detail how the rule violates the agencies’ authority under the Clean Water Act.
“The proposed rule unlawfully and unconstitutionally asserts federal control over local water and land by needlessly replacing state and local land-use management with top-down, federal control. If this rule were put into practice, ditches and ponds that only hold water when it rains would be regulated by the EPA and Corps of Engineers. This rule should be withdrawn and replaced with a common-sense alternative that respects states’ primary responsibility over lands and waters within their borders while also giving land owners clear guidance,” Attorney General Pruitt said.
“The EPA has a role as an arbiter to deal with water quality and air quality issues that cross state lines, but the agency shouldn’t be used to pick ‘winners and losers’ or to expand the scope of the federal government beyond the authority granted by Congress. This rule appears to be yet another attempt by federal agencies to implement an agenda through rules and regulations to affect land use decisions that should be left to the states and private property owners,” Attorney General Pruitt said.
The attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia also signed the letter. The governors of Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Carolina also signed the letter.