Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a 20-state coalition in requesting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) preserve the role of the states in protecting the nation’s water sources.
The coalition filed its letter Monday as part of the EPA’s ongoing review of its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The attorneys general outlined regulatory overreach present in the existing rule and offered suggestions to better respect the authority of states going forward.
“The WOTUS rules are a blatant power grab by the EPA,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The federal government exceeded its statutory authority by attempting to regulate areas that Congress never intended to be under federal jurisdiction, and directly infringed on the states’ ability to regulate their own natural resources.”
Rather than claiming jurisdiction over vast amounts of water and land, the coalition suggests that the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers should consider the active role each state already plays in safeguarding its waterways, especially those within the border of individual states. The Obama-era regulation, if implemented, would have taken jurisdiction over natural resources from states and put it in the hands of federal agencies. This included almost any body of water, such as isolated streams, hundred-year floodplains and roadside ditches.
Texas signed the West Virginia- and Wisconsin-led letter with Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.
Read a copy of the letter at http://bit.ly/2tGljKk.