Suit over EPA’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’

Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency alleging that the redefinition of the “Waters of the United States” is executive overreach, flatly contrary to the will of Congress.

The lawsuit alleges that the EPA’s broad redefinition of long-standing regulatory jurisdiction places virtually all land and water under an untenable regulatory burden. The EPA’s regulatory jurisdiction has historically been limited to the “navigable waters” – a term that has always been understood to include only large bodies of water capable of serving as pathways for interstate commerce.

“Respect for private property rights have allowed our nation to thrive, but with the recently finalized rule, farmers, ranchers, developers, industry, and individual property owners will now be subject to the unpredictable, unsound and often byzantine regulatory regime of the EPA,” Pruitt said. “I, and many other local, state and national leaders across the country, made clear to the EPA our concerns and opposition to redefining the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ However, the EPA’s brazen effort to stifle private property rights has left Oklahoma with few options to deter the harm that its rule will do.”