States say flawed “Waters of the United States” rule should be shelved while lawsuit is pending
BATON ROUGE — Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell has asked federal regulators to postpone implementation of a rule that would negatively impact Louisiana’s agricultural interests and infringe on landowners’ private property rights.
The Obama Administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule is set to take effect on Aug. 28, but the rule faces a court challenge from Caldwell and other attorneys general. Caldwell’s lawsuit filed last month claims that the regulation is unconstitutional.
In a letter to the heads of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attorney General Caldwell and 28 other AGs asked that the rule’s effective date be pushed back at least nine months while litigation is pending.
“There is no good reason for our farmers, business owners and state agencies to face uncertainty and the expense involved in complying with this burdensome federal regulation while this matter is pending in court,” Attorney General Caldwell said. “Louisiana already effectively manages programs under the Clean Water Act, and we expect the Court to block this illegal power grab by the EPA.”
Attorney General Caldwell warned that the rule could subject farm ponds, drainage ditches and even backyards to federal regulation. The rule expands the Clean Water Act to give the federal government regulatory authority over vast areas that could potentially connect to navigable waters in the event of a storm.