|WASHINGTON (July 2, 2015) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council, along with other producer and land use groups, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the EPA and Army Corps over their “waters of the United States” final rule.
“The WOTUS rule remains a top priority for our producers and for all landowners nationwide,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA president and Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman. “While cattlemen have long asked for greater clarity around the Clean Water Act, this rule does the opposite, rendering jurisdictional determinations so vague and subjective that our members cannot possibly make a determination as to what basic ranching activities will subject them to criminal and civil penalties under the Clean Water Act. We remain committed to working with the administration, Congress and through the courts to stop this rule.”
The complaint charges that this rule by the EPA and the Corps exercises broad control over land use, far beyond what Congress authorized in the Clean Water Act. Moreover, the ambiguity and breadth of this rule violates the U.S. Constitution.
“As cattle producers and landowners, we are extremely concerned by this regulatory overreach by EPA and the Corps,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president and Idaho rancher. “Litigation is a last resort to exercise our rights against regulation, but producers have determined that this is a necessary step. Several states filed similar litigation requesting injunctive and declaratory relief from this administration’s regulatory rampage.”
Similar suits have been filed by officials representing 27 states, all within two days of the rule’s publication on June 29.
NCBA and PLC’s other co-plaintiffs are the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, American Road and Transportation Builders, Leading Builders of America, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Corn Growers Association, National Mining Association, and National Pork Producers Council.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.