Environmental Groups Join Surge of Lawsuits Against EPA Rule

Groups claim the rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removes safeguards for water

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — Nine environmental conservation groups have joined the surge of states and businesses suing the federal government over a new water regulation.

Attorneys from Stanford University and Lewis and Clark Law School filed the non-profit organizations’ challenge Wednesday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The groups claim the rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers removes safeguards for water used for drinking, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.

Federal officials say the new rule clarifies which waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act.

At least 27 states, 14 national agriculture and land organizations, the Pacific Legal Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Businesses have filed complaints in federal districts courts around the country since the rule was published in June.

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