Attorney General Labrador is suing the EPA and the Biden administration to stop a new rule that violates state water rights – Dailyfly


BOISE – Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, along with attorneys general from North Dakota, Alaska, Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina and South Dakota, have sued the EPA and the Biden administration to protect the states’ rights to their water and wildlife resources. Idaho and North Dakota lead the coalition of states, which filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.

The EPA’s new rule — called the Tribal Reserved Rights rule — forces states to prioritize tribal claims over the rights of their citizens. The EPA claims it has the authority under the Clean Water Act to require states to protect so-called “tribal reserved rights” — a concept the federal government has never been able to consistently define — when designating uses for state waters and establishing water quality standards. But as the name implies, the Clean Water Act is about preventing water pollution; it has nothing to do with guaranteeing perceived tribal rights over state waters, such as the right to ceremonial practices or the right to fish at preferred levels or hunt preferred species. The Final Rule clearly goes beyond the authority established by Congress.

“The Biden Administration’s EPA must be held accountable for their unconstitutional intrusion into the management of state resources and relationships,” said Attorney General Labrador. “Idaho has 3,100 miles of navigable waterways – more than any other state in the lower 48, and the CWA does not deprive Idaho of the right to effectively manage our rivers. In fact, unlike EPA’s new rule, the CWA retains state authority over its water resources.”

The states are aggressively defending their rights and asking the federal court to enforce and ultimately eliminate the new rule. There is a lawsuit on this matter, so stay tuned.