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Labrador Attorney General Sues EPA, Biden Administration to Stop New Rule From Violating State’s Water Rights – Dailyfly

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DRINK – Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, along with the attorneys general of North Dakota, Alaska, Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota, sued the EPA and the Biden administration to protect the rights of states over their water and wildlife resources. Idaho and North Dakota are leading the coalition of states that filed their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.

The EPA’s new rule, called the Tribal Reserved Rights Rule, requires states to prioritize tribal claims over the rights of their citizens. The EPA claims authority under the Clean Water Act to require states to protect so-called “reserved tribal rights” – a concept that the federal government has never been able to clearly define. consistent – ​​by designating national water uses and setting water quality standards. But as its name suggests, the Clean Water Act aims to prevent water pollution; it has nothing to do with securing so-called tribal rights regarding state waters, such as the right to ceremonial practices or the right to fish or hunt preferred species at preferred levels. The final rule clearly exceeds the authority established by Congress.

“The Biden administration’s EPA must be held accountable for its unconstitutional excesses in the management of state resources and relationships,” Labrador’s attorney general said. “Idaho has 3,100 miles of waterways, more than any other state in the Lower 48, and the CWA does not strip Idaho of its right to effectively manage our rivers. In fact, unlike the new EPA rule, the CWA preserves the state’s authority over its water resources.

The states are vigorously defending their rights and asking the federal court to enjoin, then overturn, the new rule. Litigation is ongoing in this matter, so stay tuned.