EPA Proposed Redefinition of Waters of The U.S. an “Illegal Power Grab” Says Montana AG
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has written a letter to protest a proposed rule change by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Fox argues that the new rule would broaden the EPA’s influence over a variety of waterway and that this reading of the Clean Water Act is little more than a “Power-Grab.”
"It impinges on our state sovereignty," Fox said. "It's illegal in my opinion. We have great rules and laws, in fact, we have constitutional provisions in the Montana Constitution that protect our environment, especially our water. As you know, our constitution says the waters in Montana belong to Montana."
Fox says that an adoption of the proposed rule would hurt Montana Agricultural producers and possibly many other types of businesses as well.
"With the EPA's interpretation of the Clean Water Act, with this rule, there will be a lot of activities and a lot of small businesses that will be impacted, and, quite frankly, they can't afford to be regulated in this way," said Fox. "The better point is that Montanans know the solutions to Montana's problems and we do a very, very good job in this state of protecting our waters and we will continue to do that. We don't need the federal government telling us how to do it."
Representatives from at least 17 other states have also written letters of protest to the EPA on this matter. A similar rule change was rejected by congress in 2007.
Photo courtesy of Tim Fox: