17 States Challenge Trump’s New Water Rule
A coalition of 17 states has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to strike down the new Trump administration Waters of the United States regulation that significantly narrows the definition of which bodies of water can be federally regulated.
The complaint, filed by attorneys general from California, New York, 15 other states, and the District of Columbia in federal district court in San Francisco, follows similar lawsuits brought by multiple environmental groups in three other district courts. They contend that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure and Clean Water acts.
All but two of the 17 states that joined in the lawsuit have Democratic governors. The exceptions are Maryland and Massachusetts. This litigation will likely be lengthy as industry groups and other interested parties are expected to get involved as the process moves forward. Moreover, whichever side loses in the various district courts will no doubt appeal.
To make the situation even more complex, the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association has filed a lawsuit in yet another district court. That challenge contends the new rule should be overturned for the opposite reason – that it represents regulatory overreach.
EPA has announced that it will aggressively defend the new rule.