Kentucky files lawsuit with other states over Waters of the U.S. rule

Kentucky has joined a lawsuit suing the EPA over the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) ruling-known as the “Clean Water Rule” that was finalized in May, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway announced Tuesday.

The WOTUS rule would amend the Clean Water Act to allow EPA regulation over ditches as tributaries, snow and rain runoff from equipment and storage areas, ponds and impoundments, and any area in which any water may drain into any other water. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers claim that the ruling clarifies what waters are under federal jurisdiction and would only effect 3 percent more land than was previously regulated under the new ruling.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has vocally opposed the ruling and has joined with the business community, farmers and other opponents who argue the ruling will likely have a negative impact on a large portion of the U.S economy by significantly broadening federal regulatory jurisdiction over private activities on land and waterways, which would slow, or bring to a halt, many projects across the country.

Attorney General Conway joined 8 other states in the lawsuit to block the EPA ruling stating that the May ruling “This finalized rule, in my opinion, is illegal. This overly burdensome rule flies in the face of the tradition of environmental regulation, which is to allow states to develop their own responses in how they deal with what’s required by the Clean Water Act. By challenging this rule, we continue to fight a long-term battle regarding an overreach by the EPA under this administration. I will fight this battle every step of the way.”

The full complaint can be viewed here.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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