SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Feb. 6 that California will join a coalition of 11 states in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) over their decision to suspend the Clean Water Rule, which was enacted in 2015 under the Obama administration.
Becerra’s office alleges the rule would have helped protect lakes, rivers and streams in the state from pollution. According to Becerra’s office, the rule was developed based off of a scientific approach that clarified the definition of “waters of the United States.” Under federal law, companies are banned from discharging pollutants into the “waters of the United States.”
“The Trump administration should be doing everything in its power to keep our water clean, to protect our environment. Instead, it has decided to suspend the Clean Water Rule with cavalier disregard for our laws and deliberative process,” Becerra said. “The California Department of Justice will not spectate as this administration attempts to undo yet another critical environmental protection. We will do what is necessary to defend the Clean Water Rule and our right to clean water. The rule was legally promulgated, based on science, and will help protect our precious water resources. We look forward to making our case in court.”
California joins the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, and the District of Columbia in the coalition.