July 6, 2015

27 U.S. States Enter Lawsuits Against EPA Water Regulation – Lend Your Voice To The Effort Today

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation last Monday, nine states – South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Utah and Wisconsin – filed a lawsuit in a Georgia federal court challenging the rule. According to The Hill, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson argued the rule “will carry a tremendous cost to our state, our economy, and our families.” Wilson also noted, “The EPA’s proposed expansion would bring many roadside ditches, small ponds on family farms, water features on golf courses, and storm water systems under extremely burdensome federal regulation.” 

These arguments are the same ones MSCI has outlined previously in its opposition to the rule. 

Additionally, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel argued the federal rule is duplicative of state clean water regulations. In fact, Schimel said his state is “has strong clean water regulations and these proposed duplicative [federal] regulations will serve only to harm farmers and landowners by substantially increasing costs and delaying permits.” 

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 27 states, including those listed above, have so far challenged the regulation. Links to all four lawsuits can be found here

A coalition that includes the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and several agriculture groups is also challenging the rule. MSCI will work to support these efforts. On June 14, the NAM Water Quality Task Force will hold a meeting to discuss the EPA’s final regulation, including the organization’s litigation challenging it. Click here to register to participate. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also launched an online petition asking interested parties to tell their U.S. senators that they should work to stop implementation of the WOTUS rule. (The rule does not take effect until late August.) MSCI encourages its members to sign that petition. As the U.S. Chamber explains, the WOTUS rule “opens the door for the EPA to regulate man-made bodies of water, even impacting certain storm water and wastewater facilities, ditches, ponds and creeks on private property.” MSCI members should act now to stop this costly regulation.