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State attorney general praises EPA decision to repeal water rule

Staff Reports • Updated Jul 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III recently joined West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and 19 other state attorneys general in support of the repeal of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States Rule.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt signed a notice to withdraw the Obama-era rule.

“We fully support the action taken by EPA administrator Pruitt,” Slatery said. “The WOTUS rule would allow the federal government to claim regulatory authority clearly left to the states. It is unlawful under the Clean Water Act, U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the U.S. Constitution.”

Slatery said the WOTUS rule’s broad assertion of authority unlawfully encroaches on the states’ traditional role as the primary regulators of land and water resources. The rule asserts sweeping federal authority over usually dry channels, roadside ditches and isolated streams. The rule also asserts federal authority over land covered by water only once every 100 years.

 In 2015, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the states and issued a nationwide stay that blocked enforcement of the WOTUS rule.

Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming joined Tennessee in support of the EPA decision.

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