Twenty-four state attorneys general filed a suit against Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), Thursday over its Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS), which defines federally protected waters and is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.
Republicans are trying to repeal a rule that they claim places undue burdens on landowners. Nearly 150 members of Congress have introduced a resolution opposing the Biden EPA rule. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit on Jan. 18. The redefinition by the Biden administration of “navigable water” is beyond the authority granted to it under the Clean Water Act. This could raise constitutional concerns.
The new definition will take effect on March 20, 2023. The lawsuit was announced Thursday by Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia Attorney General, and the attorneys general of North Dakota, Georgia, and Iowa.
Morrisey stated in a statement that the Supreme Court must define the term “Waters of the United States” once and for all so that state lands, and waters, are not subject to the will of unelected bureaucrats.
There is a lot of legal confusion about the law’s definitions of “navigable water,” which change with each presidential administration. The Trump administration shrinks federally protected areas while the Biden administration expands them. In Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court will have an opportunity to address the issue and decide on the Biden-EPA’s revised definition.
“The water rule of the Biden administration restricts land use and is a violation of the law and U.S. Constitution. In a statement, Montana Attorney General Knudsen stated that the EPA had overstepped its boundaries by trying to claim jurisdiction over land or water not connected to navigable waters. We are fighting to protect Montana’s farm and ranching operations as well as energy workers and infrastructure.
The lawsuit was joined by the following states: West Virginia. Georgia. Iowa. North Dakota. Alabama. Alaska. Arkansas. Florida. Indiana. Kansas. Louisiana. Mississippi. Missouri. Montana. Nebraska. Ohio. Oklahoma. South Carolina. South Dakota. Tennessee. Utah. Virginia. Wyoming.