WV Farm Bureau Magazine July 2015 - Page 6

THE FIGHT TO DITCH THE RULE CONTINUES: WV Attorney General Leads Nine-state Coalition Challenging New EPA ‘Waters of US’ Rule Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a bipartisan coalition of nine state Attorneys General in a lawsuit challenging a new rule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency that unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over small streams, land and farms. “This rule is a staggering overreach by the federal government and violates the very law it claims to enforce,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It will have dire consequences for homeowners, farmers and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks like digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers.” In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the Attorneys General of West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin argue the final rule put out by the EPA and Corps of Engineers violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution, “This rule expands and usurps the States’ primary responsibility for the a scheme whereby management, protection and property owners care of intrastate waters and lands. have to ask the EPA for permission to do yardwork – it’s regulatory lunacy.” The rule, known generally as the “Waters of the United States” rule, would extend the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ regulatory jurisdiction to an untold number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches and short-lived streams or any other area where the agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years. “The way this rule is written creates a series of absurd scenarios for which people can be fined,” Mor ɥ͕