Montana AG Tim Fox on Fight Over EPA’s Waters of the US Regulations [YouTube]
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is part of an ongoing legal battle with the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, in what many states are alleging is an overreach in their authority over water quality.
"Montana was one of 13 states that joined in a lawsuit in federal court in North Dakota to block the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the rule they call 'The Waters of the U.S.'," Fox said. "It's interesting to note that Congress has tried on a couple of occasions to implement this policy, but have always been defeated. This is a new law that expands the purview of the Clean Water Act."
Now, Fox said, the administration is using a federal agency, the EPA, to bypass Congressional authority, and implement the policy unilaterally.
"Federal District Court Judge Sullivan had imposed an injunction last week staying the EPA from implementing the rule, pending the outcome of the case. The EPA immediately said this injunction only applied to the 13 states in the lawsuit. Judge Sullivan is quite concerned with that position, and he ordered the parties to file briefs by today to help clarify the situation."
"This move by the EPA impacts our state sovereignty and it really does violate the concept of cooperative federalism that is within the Clean Water Act," he said.
Fox and the other Attorneys General are awaiting word on how the federal court will rule. He said if the EPA openly defies a ruling for the states, the agency could be held in contempt of federal court.