ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERAL MOVES TO STOP WOTUS
July 01, 2015
The Alabama Farmers Federation appreciates Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange for signing on to a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On Tuesday, Strange joined eight other states on the lawsuit that asks a federal court to strike down the EPA’s controversial Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Farmers have been concerned about the rule since a first draft was introduced in April 2014.
“The final WOTUS rule, released by the EPA in May, adds vague definitions to the Clean Water Act that could expand the administration’s jurisdiction to previously unregulated areas, including dry land,” said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “We’re happy to see Attorney General Strange do what is in his power to stop this detrimental rule from being implemented.”
Other states involved in the suit are West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.
“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,” Strange said. “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.”
The EPA formally published the WOTUS rule in the federal register June 29. It will take effect Aug. 28, unless the courts or Congress stops adoption of the rule.
The U.S. House of Representatives already passed a bill that would prevent the EPA from implementing the rule, and a similar measure passed the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee June 10. However, President Barack Obama has defended the regulation.