Attorney General Fox Applauds Decision to Begin Process of Rescinding Waters of the U.S. Rule

As one of the leading opponents to the “Waters of the United States” regulation, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox applauded U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision Tuesday to begin the process of rescinding the rule.

“As one of the primary legal challengers to WOTUS, I’m happy to say the decision to rescind this unlawful rule is a victory for all Americans, and is particularly good news for rural states like Montana,” said Fox.  “We all want a clean and healthy environment, but the WOTUS rule wasn’t about environmental protection—it was about control. I’m pleased to see the new administration respects the role states play in protecting our environment, and I look forward to doing my part to ensure future generations can enjoy Montana’s outdoor treasures.”

​John Youngberg- Executive Vice-President of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation

“Montana farmers and ranchers value a clean and healthy environment, but regulating every puddle and irrigation ditch in the country from Washington, D.C. is bad public policy. The Montana Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to see the administration reverse this flawed rule, as our members appreciate having the ability to continue being good stewards of the environment without heavy-handed federal regulations.”

Errol Rice- Executive Vice-President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association

“The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds the announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency has filed an official proposal to withdraw the 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) Rule. As a headwaters state, Montana is a leader in water quality, and ranchers are proud of the standards we live and promote daily.”

In June 2015, Attorney General Tim Fox and 12 other states filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) over the new regulation broadly expanding the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. The case was filed in the U.S. district court for the District of North Dakota.

In their complaint, the states contend the new definition of “Waters of the U.S.” violated provisions of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the United States Constitution.

The states were successful in obtaining an injunction from the U.S. Supreme Court, preventing nationwide implementation of the rule until conclusion of the litigation. The litigation is still pending in federal court.