Fox Urges Senate to Pass Legislation Repealing Controversial ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Regulations
Today, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox urged the U.S. Senate to approve S.1140, which would end the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” regulations adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers earlier this year. The bipartisan resolution is co-sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines and will be on the floor for a vote at 2:30pm Eastern Time (12:30pm Mountain Time) today. S.1140 directs the EPA and Corps to withdraw the regulations and issue a revised proposal that complies with the law.
“I’m grateful to Steve Daines for his hard work and leadership on this issue in the Senate,” Fox said. “While Montana and 30 other states have filed suit to overturn the ‘Waters of the U.S’ regulations, passage of this resolution by Congress would send a strong signal to the courts that the EPA has overstepped its authority. When it comes to protecting the waters we cherish and rely upon, we need Montana-made solutions, not one-size-fits-all regulatory schemes from Washington, D.C.”
Earlier this year, using the agency rule-making process, in order to broaden their authority over more land and water the EPA and Corps dramatically expanded the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” in the Clean Water Act to include waters with very little or no real connection to navigable waters. In June, Montana and other states filed suit to overturn the new regulations. A federal judge halted implementation of the regulations in the 13 states that first filed suit, and then on October 9 another federal judge halted the regulations nationwide pending the outcome of the litigation.
Attorney General Fox’s litigation is supported by the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Stockgrowers Association, Association of Counties, Chamber of Commerce, Building Industry Association, Contractors Association, and Association of Realtors. These groups and their members have expressed serious concerns over how the new regulations will impact Montana’s communities and economy by hindering even the most basic land uses.