April 27, 2020: The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association challenged certain provisions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Navigable Waters Protection Rule today, represented by Pacific Legal Foundation. While the EPA’s new rules for regulating waterways, released last week, are a significant improvement over earlier versions, many farm fields and ranches are still unnecessarily regulated by the federal agency.
“Over the years, EPA has changed the definition of ‘navigable waters’ to increase its regulatory authority at the expense of property owners’ rights. Despite the improvements of the new rules, its regulations are still unconstitutionally broad,” said Tony Francois, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Specifically, the new rules let federal agencies control ponds, wetlands, and other property far removed from navigable waterways. These were never intended by Congress to be covered by the Clean Water Act.”
“The Justice Department has already said that the new rule is unlikely to help people like Jack LaPant, a California farmer who is being prosecuted for growing wheat more than a decade ago. If he can be sued for normal farming and face millions of dollars in damages, then no one is safe.”
Pacific Legal Foundation represents multiple groups in separate lawsuits challenging EPA’s application of the Clean Water Act.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 39 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 12 victories out of 14 cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.