Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers over new rules changing the definition of waterways under the Clean Water Act.
Along with 12 other states, the lawsuit challenges the agencies’ rule defining “waters of the United States” to include land that is dry most of the year. According to a news release from Koster’s office, the change gives the federal government increased authority to control land use in Missouri.
The rule becomes effective Aug. 28, according to EPA.gov
According to Koster, the rule change defines tributaries to include ponds, streams that flow briefly during or after rainstorms, and channels that usually are dry, including 100-year floodplains that are dry 99 out of 100 years.
“The EPA and the Army Corps have exceeded their legal authority in defining what constitutes U.S. waterways,” Koster said in the release. “If this change becomes law, thousands of acres of privately owned land in Missouri will suddenly be subject to federal water regulation.
“Missouri farmers will be particularly harmed by the federal government’s restrictions on how their land can be used.”
Filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota, the lawsuit seeks a ruling declaring the new definition as unlawful and prohibiting the agencies from implementing it.
In introducing the change last month, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers said the new rules would protect waterways from pollution and degradation.
“For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities that flow to our drinking water to be clean, the streams and wetlands that feed them need to be clean, too,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a news release.[[In-content Ad]]