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North Dakota, South Dakota sue to stop Waters of the United States rule

North Dakota, South Dakota sue to stop Waters of the United States rule
North Dakota governor says rule is unlawful, far-reaching and creates "a great deal of risk and uncertainty for agriculture."

North Dakota and South Dakota are part of multistate federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing their new definition of Waters of the United States

"In finalizing their new "Waters of the United States" rule, the EPA and Corps have repeatedly refused to address the many concerns shared by state officials, farmers and ranchers, small businesses and other landowners in North Dakota and across the nation," said North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple in a statement issued by his office.

Grain is seeded around a pond.

"Throughout the rule-making process, we have been very clear that any attempt to expand federal authority over small wetlands, potholes and other isolated water bodies is unworkable and a disregard of states' jurisdictional authority.  This rule gives the EPA and the Corps the authority to regulate virtually all types of water, including seasonal streams, ponds and ditches. The rule is far reaching and it creates a great deal of risk and uncertainty for agriculture and other businesses.

"North Dakota already has laws in place to manage and protect all waters of the state, and the EPA has effectively given itself federal jurisdiction over waters that belong under state jurisdiction.  Because the EPA and Corps have continually disregarded our many concerns, we have joined 10 other states and New Mexico state officials in a lawsuit that seeks to have this ill-conceived federal rule declared unlawful."

Other states joining the lawsuit include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.

Water in a ditch flows to the Red River.

Source: ND Governor's office

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