Waters of the United States problem

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt applauded a ruling by a federal judge in North Dakota that blocked the implementation of the EPA’s waters of the United States rule, which was scheduled to take effect Friday, August 28.

“A federal judge has told the EPA that its waters of the United States rule is illegal and cannot go into effect, but the EPA says the judge’s ruling has effect in only some states,” Pruitt said. “This is nonsense. The rule cannot be lawful in some states and unlawful in others. The EPA’s statement regarding the judge’s ruling is just the latest in a line of actions by this agency showing blatant disregard for the rule of law. As I’ve said before, my office will pursue every available legal option to block the WOTUS rule to protect the state’s regulatory authority and the private property rights of Oklahomans.’

In July, Pruitt filed a federal lawsuit challenging the WOTUS rule, alleging that the EPA’s broad redefinition of long-standing regulatory jurisdiction places virtually all land and water under an untenable regulatory burden, and asked the EPA to delay implementation of the rule until the legal challenges were resolved, which the EPA has refused. 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.