Attorney General Doug Peterson plans to emphasize a seeming split between two federal agencies in the state’s case against the Waters of the United States rule.
Peterson is pleased the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule has been put on hold as the legal case of Nebraska and other states is heard.
Peterson says his team uncovered documents from the Army Corps of Engineers which supports the state’s case that the EPA has exceeded its Congressional authority.
“But we’ve discovered memos from the Army Corps of Engineers that have basically said, in effect, wait a minute, number one, EPA you didn’t listen to our input, number two, we think what you’re doing here is far beyond the scope of the EPA and the Supreme Court decisions,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
In late August, a North Dakota Federal District Court judge granted Nebraska and 12 other states a preliminary injunction preventing the EPA from implementing WOTUS in those states. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put implementation on hold nationwide. Also, the federal courts declined the EPA’s request to consolidate all the cases against WOTUS into one to be heard in the District of Columbia. Each region of the country will make their case to a federal court overseeing that region.
Nebraska will continue to make its case before a North Dakota federal district judge.
“We’ll put in evidence to the court about these memos from the Army Corps of Engineers to show that even their own federal agencies are saying they are outside the scope,” Peterson says.
Peterson insists that the Clean Water Act has been effective for 40 years, because the federal government has worked with the states in fighting water pollution. The EPA insists it needs the new rule to get at the source of pollution, which the agency says is long before it gets to “navigable” waters as outlined in the Clean Water Act. Peterson counters the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is effective in monitoring source pollution.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]