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June 30, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 2


(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that Alabama
has joined eight other states in filing a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike
down a controversial new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that
unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over ditches,
local streams and farms.

The new “Waters of the United States” rule seeks to extend the EPA and Corps
of Engineers’ regulatory reach to an indefinite number of small bodies of water,
including roadside ditches, temporary streams or any other area where the
agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.

“The new EPA water rule is one of the most extreme to be proposed under an
administration which has gone out of its way to ignore the powers of Congress
and, accordingly, the Constitutional limits upon its own authority,” said
Attorney General Strange. “This new rule would expand the reach of the
federal government onto the property of homeowners, farmers and other
businesses, potentially requiring them to obtain permits for the simplest of
changes to their land, including fence building, digging ditches or spraying
fertilizers. If a property owner fails to comply with the EPA’s new water rule
they would be hit with a fine of up to $37,000 a day. The phrase ‘government
run amok’ may be overused but it certainly fits in this case.”

Alabama and the other eight states argue in the lawsuit filed today in the
Southern District of Georgia that the final rule put forward by the EPA and
Corps of Engineers violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure
Act and the U.S. Constitution, and usurps the States’ primary responsibility for
the management, protection and care of intrastate waters and lands.

While the Clean Water Act gave the EPA and Corps authority to regulate
“navigable waters” defined as “waters of the United States,” Congress made
sure that states would retain their constitutional, sovereign responsibility over
non-navigable, intrastate lands and waters. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice
rejected the agencies’ attempts to expand their authority (in Solid Waste
Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v.
United States). However, this latest rule written by the two administrative
agencies gives them virtually limitless power over these waters.

501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2

Alabama joined West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South
Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin in filing the federal lawsuit Tuesday.

Attorney General Strange noted the states have the best chance of overturning
unlawful EPA regulations through the court system. “Yesterday, the EPA was
handed a major defeat in a multi-state lawsuit, including Alabama, for failing
to consider the cost of its regulations on energy plants and consumers. The
Supreme Court ruling should put the EPA on notice that it cannot run
roughshod over the law in pursuit of its political agenda.”