Texas And Idaho AGs Score Big Win Against Biden EPA’s Far-Reaching Water Regulation

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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A federal judge stopped the Biden administration Sunday from implementing a rule in Texas and Idaho that would widen its regulatory power over U.S. waters.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States'” rule published Jan. 18 would expand the bodies of water regulated under federal Clean Air Act (CAA) regulatory authority by defining them as “waters of the United States” based on regulations passed after the CAA in 1963. The rule was intended to go into force Monday, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador, and 22 other state attorneys general have sued to stop it, and U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown granted a preliminary injunction Sunday halting the rule’s enforcement in Paxton and Labrador’s states pending further court action.

The EPA and Army Department interpret the term “waters of the United States” to include traditional navigable waters, territorial seas, interstate waters, adjacent wetlands, traditional waters’ tributaries and some artificial reservoirs, according to the rule. Paxton argues Congress expressly limited federal authority to regulating navigable waters.

“The unlawful rule would have saddled Texans across the state with crushing new regulations, slowing our state’s economic development and limiting our job growth,” he said. (RELATED: Biden Admin Is ‘Having Fun’ Writing New Regulations, EPA Chief Says)

The EPA told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday that it still believes the rule “is the best interpretation of the Clean Water Act.”

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and their options,” the EPA said. “The rule went into effect today in all other jurisdictions in the U.S.”

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