Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas revealed on Monday morning that the state has successfully challenged the Biden administration’s Clean Water Act rule in federal court.
“Big victory against Biden: Last night a federal court blocked the Admin’s radical ‘waters of the US’ rule, which imposes a leftist environmental agenda on Texas, crushing new regs, and oppressive economic costs. I will always fight to keep Biden’s boots off the necks of Texans!” Paxton said in his tweet.
Big victory against Biden: Last night a federal court blocked the Admin’s radical “waters of the US” rule, which imposes a leftist environmental agenda on Texas, crushing new regs, and oppressive economic costs. I will always fight to keep Biden’s boots off the necks of Texans! pic.twitter.com/zp2Wv17bhC— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 20, 2023
Attorney General Paxton had complained in January about the Biden administration’s amendment of the “waters of the United States” rule against the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The lawsuit stated, “The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires federal permits to discharge pollutants into ‘navigable waters’. ‘Navigable waters,’ in turn, is defined to mean ‘the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.’ Waters that do not fit into this definition are not within federal jurisdiction and may still be regulated by states and tribes. By this challenge, the Plaintiffs assert that by amending the definition of ‘waters of the United States,’ as provided in the Final Rule, the Federal Agencies unconstitutionally and impermissibly expand their own authority beyond Congress’s delegation in the CWA— intruding into state sovereignty and the liberties of the states and their citizens. The Final Rule also lacks clarity, leaving those wishing to identify the ambit of federal power over dry land or minor water features at the mercy of an expensive, vague, and arbitrary analysis, lest they face a staggering criminal or civil penalty.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Rapanos v. United States, which denied the US Army Corps of Engineers’ claim of extended power over non-navigable intrastate streams that are not closely connected to navigable interstate waters, is cited by Paxton in his civil suit.
Attorney General Paxton stated, “The environmental extremists who wrote this unlawful rule have no interest in respecting our sovereignty or our natural resources. For this Administration, this isn’t about environmental protection—it’s about federal control over states like Texas, and we aren’t going to allow it. This rule is unlikely to survive our efforts to stop it permanently, and it is important that the court prevents the change in definition from going into effect until our case has been decided.”