The attorneys general from the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island and Washington have voiced support for the proposed rule announced by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers which would broaden the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. On September 16, 2014, these seven states and the District of Columbia came out in support of the proposed definition, which would include ponds, smaller streams, and tributaries. The supporters claim that the proposed rule is based on “sound science” and that the proposed rule should be approved.
The eight-state coalition is lead by A.G. Schneiderman, Attorney General for the State of New York, who announced the support in a press release, stating that the federal proposal is “designed to ensure that the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands receive proper protection” under the Clean Water Act. The coalition submitted comments to the joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers in April 2014. As was previously reported in this blog, on September 9, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block the proposed changes to the Clean Water Act by passing H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014.
The complete text of the proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register at 79 FR 22187-22274. The deadline for public comments is October 20, 2014. For more information, or for assistance with submitting a public comment, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.