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N.D. joins multistate lawsuit against WOTUS rule

Created: 6/29/15 (Mon) | Topic: Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today issued the following statement regarding North Dakota’s decision to join a multistate federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from implementing their new definition of “Waters of the United States:”

“In finalizing their new “Waters of the United States” rule, the EPA and Corps have repeatedly refused to address the many concerns shared by state officials, farmers and ranchers, small businesses and other landowners in North Dakota and across the nation.

“Throughout the rule-making process, we have been very clear that any attempt to expand federal authority over small wetlands, potholes and other isolated water bodies is unworkable and a disregard of states’ jurisdictional authority.  This rule gives the EPA and the Corps the authority to regulate virtually all types of water, including seasonal streams, ponds and ditches. The rule is far reaching and it creates a great deal of risk and uncertainty for agriculture and other businesses.

“North Dakota already has laws in place to manage and protect all waters of the state, and the EPA has effectively given itself federal jurisdiction over waters that belong under state jurisdiction.  Because the EPA and Corps have continually disregarded our many concerns, we have joined 11 other states and New Mexico state officials in a lawsuit that seeks to have this ill-conceived federal rule declared unlawful.”

Joining North Dakota in the federal lawsuit are the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming and state officials in New Mexico. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for  the District of North Dakota.

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