Attorney General Leslie Rutledge continues to stick with her campaign promise to oppose federal regulations, no matter what benefits they might offer for cleaner air or water.
Today she said she’s joining other states in filing a case in federal court in North Dakota against the EPA and Corps of Engineers over the Waters of the United States rule that increases by a small percentage the bodies of water under the Clean Water Act. She contends the rule exceeds limits of the law and could harm agriculture through a requirement for permits and fines for violations. The Obama administration says only those who pollute should fear the rule, which isn’t as expansive as Clean Water rules during the Clinton years.
The States assert that the EPA’s new rule wrongly broadens federal authority by placing a majority of water and land resources management in the hands of the federal government. Congress and the courts have repeatedly affirmed the States have primary responsibility for the protection of intrastate waters and land management. The States argue that the burdens created by new requirements from the EPA on waters and lands are harmful to the States and will negatively affect farmers, developers and landowners, and thus the overall economy.